Jeremiah 2:13 My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

In America, what does spiritual adultery look like? Would we know it if we saw it?

Although all the prophets of Israel and Judah were proxies, preaching against the people’s unfaithfulness to God, yet one minister was specifically picked to experience the heartache God felt after being abandoned by His people. The man’s name was Hosea. (Hosea 1:1)

God commanded this obscure prophet to go marry a woman named Gomer. (Hosea 1:2) Unquestionably, Hosea loved his wife, as was proven by his devotion in spite of her involvement with other men. According to Moses’ Law, the prophet could have legally stoned her (Lev. 20:10), but he did not because of his love. They had three children, whose names meant, “Punished, Not Loved, and Not Mine.” (Hosea 1:4, 6, 9) However, in spite of Gomer’s waywardness, Hosea’s dedication remained… in the same way God loves His unfaithful people.

But how does it feel, knowing that you have been betrayed? How did Hosea feel? How does God feel? Hypothetically, can you imagine coming home and discovering a forgotten message on the answering machine with a stranger’s voice suggesting a meeting with the one you love? Can you imagine discovering your loved one at a bar when they have never drunk in their lives? Can you imagine their car repeatedly abandoned along a dark street when they should ordinarily be home? Or maybe the first indication is a stranger’s musky scent lingering on the other person’s skin. God told Jeremiah, He found the evidence of Israel’s unfaithfulness smeared in her skirts (Jer. 2:33-35).

But whatever the clue, the first sign of betrayal is devastating… for God, as well as anyone else! This is the reason Hosea’s life was used to help reveal the heartbreak God feels as a victim of spiritual adultery… when we go astray. Maybe you can identify.

Israel defiantly served notice on God, “’We are free to roam; we will come to you NO more’!” Jeremiah 2:31 In effect, they said, “We don’t love you! We have never loved you! We don’t need you? We will make our way alone!”

But in spite of being repeatedly abandoned, God would not forget the one He loved. Perpetually picturing Israel in His mind, God swore to wear a token of love on his hand, “I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 Whether by a ring of betrothal or a scar of sacrifice, God refused to release His people from the early covenant they had made with Him!

Although this ungodly world might be calling your name, enticing you to abandon your commitment to the One who died to save your eternal soul… God will not easily give you up!

Edwin Woolsey’s family has lived in Shannon, Texas, and Howell counties since 1860. He taught 31 years at Missouri public schools and is currently the pastor of a small country congregation at Pilgrim Rest Community Church. Follow him on Twitter at @edwinwoolsey.

“Tragically, our kids are going to hell… because we have irresponsibly allowed them to drift in that direction without any input or restraint on our part, trusting in the damnable doctrine of “Age of Accountability.”

-Edwin Woolsey

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