From Genesis to Revelation

Day 21: A Prophetic Affair

Duncan Parlett

Each day of this devotional series, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all He’s done for us in Christ.

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways ...” – Hebrews 1:1, New International Version


God chose the prophets to call His people to obedience and faithfulness. When they shared God’s truth about contemporary issues, their inspired words often revealed details of the future. The seventeen prophetic books of the Bible (Isaiah-Malachi) reveal God’s passionate heart for His people. Let’s begin with Hosea.

Divine Object Lesson

God told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. Wait! What?

Wasn’t that a marriage doomed to heartbreak? Yes. Hosea’s union illustrated a powerful divine object lesson. When his wife ran off with other lovers, Hosea deeply felt and could express what God experienced in His relationship with Israel.

God’s chosen people repeatedly gave their hearts to other “lovers” — other gods. “A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD” (Hosea 5:4, New International Version).

Spiritual Adultery

Most of us understand the heartbreak of unfaithfulness in marriage. Spiritual adultery is turning to anything else to meet the deepest needs of our hearts. God uses shocking language in His Word to describe how He feels when His people turn away from Him.

Unfaithfully Yours

I am unfaithful to my God is so many ways. In my pain, fear, and sorrow, I often turn to food, sex, ambition, distraction, or other people to meet the deeper needs of my heart. When I don’t bring my hurt to the Lord, who can comfort and help, that makes me spiritually unfaithful. 

Arms Race

Thankfully, the book of Hosea also reveals God’s tremendous compassion. Despite betrayal, God tenderly woos us back into His arms, as Hosea did with his wayward wife. 

“Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites.” – Hosea 11:8, New International Version

God responds to our unfaithfulness with His relentless faithfulness. At any moment, we can turn to Him and race back into His arms.


Next: Next, we’ll look at one of God’s prophets who had a very unusual assignment.


  • What do you think of God’s command to Hosea to marry a “wayward wife”?
  • Why do you think God uses marriage as an illustration for His relationship with His people?
  • How do our actions reveal that we don’t trust God to meet the deepest needs of our hearts?
  • In what ways are you unfaithful to God in your heart?

Going Deeper:

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