This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

TITW August 2021 - Healing Love A Study in Hosea - A tree planted on the earth with half of the tree and ground alive and green and half dead. TITW August 2021 - Healing Love A Study in Hosea - A tree planted on the earth with half of the tree and ground alive and green and half dead.

Daily Devotional | Determined to Sin


What should a church do when a member is pursuing sin? The New Testament teaches that an individual should approach the brother or sister one-on-one. “If they listen to you, you have won them over” (Matt. 18:15). If they do not listen, two or three should go to provide a witness. If they still refuse, the whole church should be made aware. If they refuse again, they should be treated like a pagan. Note that this doesn’t necessitate a harsh attitude; Jesus was the friend of sinners. But it does call God’s people to separate. The Church is the bride of Christ, and as such she must keep herself pure.

Hosea 4:15–19 delivers a similar warning to Judah. These brothers and sisters of Israel refused to repent. Israel was hopelessly determined to continue in adultery, and God expressed concern that Judah would be tempted to stray as well. So Hosea cautioned Judah not to go to Gilgal or Beth Aven (Bethel) and not to swear, “As surely as the Lord lives” (v. 15).

Why should they not go to these places? Gilgal, once significant in Israel’s history (Josh. 4 and 5; 1 Sam. 7 and 11), had become a center for apostasy. Bethel—where Abraham camped (Gen. 12:8) and Jacob saw the stairway to heaven (Gen. 28:11–18)— had become a “house of deception.” Judah needed to stay away. The oath “as the Lord lives” was used by many in the Old Testament (Boaz [Ruth 3:13]; David [1 Sam. 20:3]; Solomon [1 Kings 2:24]). However, God’s people had been directing this oath at Baal. In so doing, they defiled it. Because of their persistent sin, God described Israel as an obstinate cow. When people are this dogged in their idolatry, all one can do is “leave him alone” (v. 17).

>> If this passage describes your own compulsion to sin, the clear application is to repent. If this passage describes the sin patterns of someone you love, prayerfully consider if confrontation or distance is called for.

Pray with Us

We are prone to self-righteousness toward ourselves and permissiveness toward our friends. Lord, move us to love You enough to repent, and to love our friends enough to confront them on patterns of sin. Restore us to righteous living.

BY Kelli Worrall

Kelli Worrall is Professor of Communications and Chair of the Division of Music and Media Arts at Moody Bible Institute. She is the author of several books, including Pierced and Embraced: 7 Life-Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ. Kelli studied at Cedarville University (BA), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MRE), and Roosevelt University (MFA). Kelli and her husband, Peter, are parents of two children through adoption and enjoy decorating their Craftsman house.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month