This is the confidence which we have in the presence of God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

Hosea 1-3

Hosea 1

Hosea’s Wife and Children

1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, and Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, marry a prostitute and have children of prostitution, for the land has been committing great adultery, forsaking the Lord.”

3 So he went and married Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

4 The Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel, for I will soon avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and will cause the kingdom of Israel to cease. 5 It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”

6 She conceived again and bore a daughter. Then he said to him, “Name her Lo-Ruhamah [which means not loved], for I will no longer have mercy on Israel, that I should in any way pardon them. 7 But I will have mercy on Judah, and will save them through the Lord their God himself, and not by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.”

8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. 9 He said, “Name him Lo-Ammi [not my people], for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

10 Yet the number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted, and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head and will go up from the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.”

Hosea 2

Israel’s Unfaithfulness Punished

1 “Say to your brothers, ‘My people!’
and to your sisters, ‘My loved one!’

2 Contend with your mother!
Plead with her, for she is not my wife,
nor am I her husband,
and let her put away the look of prostitution from her face,
and her adulteries from between her breasts.
3 Otherwise I strip her naked,
and make her as bare as the day that she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
and set her like a dry land,
and kill her with thirst.
4 Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy,
for they are children of unfaithfulness.
5 For their mother has played the prostitute.
She who conceived them has acted shamefully,
for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax,
my oil and my drink.’

6 Therefore, I will hedge up your way with thorns,
and I will build a wall against her,
that she cannot find her way.
7 She will follow after her lovers,
but she will not overtake them,
and she will seek them,
but will not find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband,
for it was better with me then than now.’
8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil,
and multiplied her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.

9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time,
and my new wine in its season,
and will take away my wool and my linen which should have covered her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
and no one will deliver her from my hand.
11 I will also cause all her celebrations to cease:
her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.
12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
about which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me,
and I will make them a forest,’
and the animals of the field shall eat them.
13 I will visit on her the days of the Baals,
to which she burned incense,
when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels,
and went after her lovers,
and forgot me,” says the Lord.

God’s Mercy to Israel

14 “Therefore, I will lure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 I will give her vineyards from there,
and the valley of Achor as a door of hope,
and she will respond there,
as in the days of her youth,
and as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 It will be in that day,” says the Lord,
“that you will call me ‘my husband,’
and no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
and they will no longer be mentioned by name.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field,
and with the birds of the sky,
and with the creeping things of the ground.
I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land,
and will make them lie down safely.
19 I will betroth you to me forever.
Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion.
20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness,
and you shall know the Lord.

21 It will happen in that day, I will respond,” says the Lord,
“I will respond to the heavens,
and they will respond to the earth,
22 and the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.
23 I will plant her for myself in the land,
and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy,
and I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’
and they will say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

Hosea 3

Hosea Redeems his Wife

1 The Lord said to me, “Go back, love a woman loved by another and an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the raisin cakes of idol worship.”

2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 I said to her, “Stay with me for many days. Do not play the prostitute and do not be with any other man. So I will also do for you.”

4 For the Israelites shall live many days without king or prince and without sacrifice and without sacred stone and without ephod or idols. 5 Afterward the Israelites shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king and shall come with trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.

1 John 5

Overcoming the World

1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and whoever loves the Father also loves the one who is born from him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep his commandments. 3 For this is loving God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.

4 For whomever has been born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. 5 Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he who came by water and blood: Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that testify, 8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and these three agree as one.

God’s Testimony of His Son

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is God’s testimony which he has testified concerning his Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

God Hears our Prayer

14 This is the confidence which we have in the presence of God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions of which we have asked of him.

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he shall pray, and for those whose sin does not lead to death, God will give him life. There is a sin leading to death. I do not say that he should make a request concerning this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

Protection of God’s Children

18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

Psalm 124

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord

A Song of Ascents. By David.

1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
let Israel now say:
2 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
when men rose up against us,
3 then they would have devoured us alive,
when their wrath was kindled against us,
4 then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
the stream would have gone over us.
5 Then the proud waters would have overwhelmed us.

6 Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us as prey for their teeth.
7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Proverbs 29:5-8

5 A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.

6 An evil man is snared by his sin,
but the righteous can sing and be glad.

7 The righteous care about justice for the poor.
The wicked are not concerned about knowledge.

8 Mockers stir up a city,
but wise men turn away anger.

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