Home Devotion For Today Israel: The Faulty Bow

Israel: The Faulty Bow

Israel: The Faulty Bow
Israel: The Faulty Bow
Israel: The Faulty Bow

March 5, 2018 | Hosea 7:1-16

“Tell all the truth, but tell it slant— / Success in Circuit lies / . . . The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind.” This famous poem by Emily Dickinson reminds us of the power of subtle, indirect, poetic language. When we tell the truth “slant,” it often has the capacity for greater power than if we made a full-frontal assault with our words.

The Minor Prophets certainly don’t mince words. We saw this at the beginning of Hosea, which opens with the shocking accusation that Israel has committed sins of “whoredom” against the Lord. But we also see the prophets’ fondness for figurative language. With poetic force, Hosea highlights the sins of Israel by using similes and metaphors: Israel is like a hot oven (v. 6); she is a flat loaf that a baker has forgotten to turn (v. 8); she is an aging head of hair, gray strands appearing without much notice (v. 9); she is a senseless dove (v. 11); she is a faulty bow (v. 16). All these images powerfully convey something about the nature of Israel’s sin: that it has reached a point of crisis; that it is scarcely been noticed by God’s people; that it has inspired foolish decisions; that it has taken her far from the Lord.

Historically, these accusations all bear up. The religious syncretism that characterized Israel’s worship did not alarm God’s people, and despite prophetic warnings, they continued in their idolatrous practices. And though they flew to Assyria and Egypt in times of national crisis, neither nation could be relied on for salvation. In fact, Assyria eventually marched into Samaria and took captive the people of Israel in 722 ™.š.

God calls His people to return to Him, but they—like all of humanity, as Paul tells us in Romans—are a faulty bow.


True repentance is an act of humility. When we confess our sin, we aren’t simply admitting what we’ve done wrong. We’re admitting that we are wrong—that we are faulty bows, bent on going in the wrong direction. As Paul explains in Romans 7, we often do the very thing we hate. In humility, confess your sins before the Lord today.

Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries

Follow us on Twitter