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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California

 Hosea says God is married to the backslider

Hosea says God is married to the backslider

I have heard this said a couple of times. It is always used to justify someone who is backslidden. They say that just because I am backslidden and living in willful sin, God is still married to me.

Now I know this is not true and have read the book of Hosea many times and understand it not a book that justifies backslidden people and willful sin and disobedience.

I can not find the verse that these people base this statement on and have never been able to get anyone to tell me the chapter and verse where the base this on.

Does anyone know what the verse is in Hosea that is used to justify the statement "God is married to the backslider"????

Patrick Ersig

 2006/10/27 13:46Profile

Joined: 2006/9/28
Posts: 192
Washington DC area

 Re: Hosea says God is married to the backslider

I know of no such verse Patrick. I've never heard of such an interpretation before...

Ed Pugh

 2006/10/27 14:24Profile

Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2674
Nottingham, England

 Re: Hosea says God is married to the backslider

For my part, I can't find such a verse.

However, the book of Hosea does deal with backslidden, adulterous Israel, and not the church of Jesus Christ.

Either you are backslid, or you are not, there is no middle ground.

God bless.

 2006/10/27 16:18Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7504

 Re: Hosea says God is married to the backslider

Maybe you will have to challenge them the next time you hear it by asking them for a chapter and verse to substantiate it. Otherwise, you will have to relegate it to the 'they say' file.


Sandra Miller

 2006/10/27 17:06Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California


I have only heard it a few times and I have asked for chapter and verse but they don't seem to know. They are just repeating something some pastor or teacher told them. So I immediately turn to Hebrews 10:26-31 and Hebrews 12:14.

I just heard that this passed weekend and thought it would be nice to know the chapter and verse even if they don't - then I could explain the verse in context.

Patrick Ersig

 2006/10/27 17:32Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777

 Re: Hosea - God's picture book

In a sense this is correct, Hosea did marry an adulterous woman. But perhaps the one who spoke it to you did not correctly understand the prophetic implication. The book of Hosea is a picture story. Hosea’s marriage to an adulterous women was a picture of redemption - God rejecting adulterous Israel, sending her away to go after other men, and then redeeming her.

According to divine law, a divorced woman could not return to her husband. And yet, God’s mercy overruled the law. God himself redeems his own beloved, though she rightfully is unredeemable. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

It is a tender story, one that causes us to weep because of the goodness of our Lord.
It is a picture of redemption – God snatching the sinner from the bondage of sin, and restoring a covenant relationship with her - even after a time of judgment.

“…. I will speak tenderly to her….

In that day, declares the Lord,
“you will call me “my husband…’

...and they will say,
You are my God.
Hos. 2:16, 23



 2006/10/27 17:38Profile


sorry this was a repeat

 2006/10/29 12:49


excellent reply roadsign... if you want an excellent sermon about this, Ravi Zachrias has one entitled The Prophet Marries The Prostitute... Now days i am not really inclined to listen to the man anymore, due to his potentially politically-toned lectuers but his old sermons are Spirit-filled and Spirit-reviving... Check him out if you have never heard of it... i think website is ...
i would like to also say two more things about the guy... a) He is a bit in the intellectual side so sometimes what he says might be a bit entangled b) Get the old messages... the old messages are more of direct sermons than the recent ones which are usually lectures about secularism and other isms and skisms... the guy seems to have actually borrowed/learned a lot from Ravenhill though very little does he give credit to him... of all the 50some messages, i have only heard him give credit to ravenhill in one message
One more thing: Christisking, next time they tell you God is still married to the backslidden according to Hosea, ask him/her, what were the children's name between the prophet and the prostitute?

 2006/10/29 12:53

Joined: 2006/3/22
Posts: 963
Wheaton, IL


Two things to post on this.

Hosea 1:2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD."

God ordered Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife so that he could understand the heart of God towards his people Israel. This is however so that he could preach that Israel should repent. I mean, what better lesson is there to teach a prophet about the anguish of God than to give the same anguish in his relationships.

This is not an excuse to get into a relationship with a backslider... that would be taking the wrong lesson out of this book. The message is that WE ARE THE PROSTITUTE. God needed his prophet to marry a prostitute to teach him that... but thankfully he wrote a book about it so that God doesn't have to teach each and every one of us that lesson. We know not to put our hand on the stove because we've been told otherwise.

The fact of the matter is that God's people were corrupt, he has a covenant with them that he will not betray, just like a vow of marriage between a man and woman. Israel has been unfaithful, but God will remain to be faithful... Thats why God tells Hosea to go back to his wife after she leaves him because he wants him to understand his heart of forgiveness.

This is not permission to backslide! It is so that we can know the heart of God about backsliding and backsliders.

Secondly I wanted to comment on Ravi Zacharias. It's amazing to me that some of the best theologians and men of God are coming out of India. Recently I've been reading a lot of KP Yohannan and listening to Ravi and Zac Poonen. These men are very fresh, and if you want to hear something comparable to Leonard Ravenhill who is still walking around and teaching, then I'd highly recommend these men.

KP Yohannan is the closest to Leonard Ravenhill, he really anguishes over souls, and isn't afraid to say things that seem controvercial to American Christians. It's a breath of fresh air!

Zac Poonen has an uncanny ability to put the most difficult things to grasp in Christianity into very plain English. If you want to know more about the love of God, and be able to understand the truths of the bible more deeply, listen to Zac Poonen. On a tangent, Zac Poonen has a very soothing voice, and if you notice, he very rarely pauses, he really knows and shows that he cares about what he is talking about with the ammount of composure he has on the subject. Most simply put, you can tell that he has a great love for the word of God. He is very engaging!

Whereas KP Yohannan is most like John the Baptist in my mind for his strong call of repentance and sacrifice, Ravi Zacharias really gives me an impression of Apostle Paul when he taught in Athens. He is an intelectual to intelectuals. His ministry is focused at college campuses and athiests. Ravi Zacharias is an apologist, KP is a missionary reaching out to the poorest and most broken people. They have different missions but that doesn't mean that either of them is going to be better blessed in heaven.

If you listen to Ravi you will realize that he is actually a very humble man, I highly recommend his message 'I Isaac take you Rebekah,' in it he is very open about the need for kindness and love in relationships... but he also recounts a time that he was reaching out to a priest in Cambodia in the early seventies during the Vietnam era.
As much as he is now an intelectual theologian debating 'isms' with athiests, he was first a missionary and a prayer warrior.

I've also got to give a shout out to Ravi Zacharias because he said about Leonard Ravenhill's book Why Revival Tarries, 'No other book [besides the Bible] has influenced me as much as this book.'

I strongly suggest you take time to listen to all three of them and be challenged!

One thing that occured to me while listening to them is that God is colorless, and nationless... When some of the most devoted men of God are coming from India, it really makes me wonder if America can even call itself a 'christian nation.'

Ian Smith

 2006/10/29 13:14Profile

Joined: 2012/2/14
Posts: 3


Turn, O backsliding children, says the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion: JEREMIAH 3 V 14

 2012/2/14 14:28Profile

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