30 “I Wills” from Hosea

A couple of years ago I was asked to prepare a month of meditations on Hosea for a daily devotional. My initial thought was, “That’s impossible. I might manage 5 or 6.” But when I got started I was stunned to find so many divine “I wills” in this little prophecy and they became the basis for the 30 meditations that I published over the past few weeks on the blog. Here they are (the thirtieth was this list).

I will avenge (Hosea 1:4).
I will hedge up your way with thorns (2:6)
I will allure her (2:14)
I will…bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her (2:14)
I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope (2:15)
I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth (2:17)
I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field (2:18)
I will betroth you to me (2:19)
I will betroth you to me forever (2:19)
I will betroth you to me in righteousness (2:19)
I will betroth you to me…in judgment (2:19)
I will betroth you to me…in lovingkindness (2:19).
I will hear (2:21).
I will sow her for myself in the earth (2:23)
I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy (2:23)
I will say to them which were not my people, You are my people (2:23)
Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you (4:6)
Therefore will I change their glory into shame (4:7)
For I will be to Ephraim as a lion (5:14)
I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face (5:15)
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger (11:9).
I will place them in their houses (11:11)
I will make you to dwell in tabernacles (12:9)
I will be your king (13:10)
I will ransom them from the power of the grave (13:14)
O death, I will be your plagues (13:14)
I will heal their backsliding (14:4)
I will love them freely (14:4)
I will be as the dew to Israel (14:5)

You can read this series of meditations together with many more in the daily devotional, Milk and Honey.

Best Online Articles on Christ in the Old Testament

Over the past 10 years I’ve been collating and cataloging online resources for teaching purposes. Here’s an updated list of Best Online Articles on Christ in the Old Testament. If you’re looking for books on this subject here are my Top 10 Books on Christ in the Old Testament.

Usual disclaimer: Link does not imply full agreement or endorsement. (They are posted in chronological order with the most recent first.)

When Jesus Read the Bible | Feeding on Christ

Discovering Christ in the Psalms | The Christward Collective

How Christ was Administered: Circumcision | Heart And Mouth

How Christ was Administered in the Old Testament: Seed and Land | Heart And Mouth

How was Christ Administered in the Old Testament? Introduction | Heart And Mouth

Help Me Teach the Bible: Vern Poythress on Interpreting Scripture

4 Reasons to Preach Christ from the Old Testament | For The Church

Help Me Teach the Bible: Ligon Duncan on Numbers

The End in the Beginning: A Biblical-Theological Catechism (Genesis) | Feeding on Christ

Proverbs 8:23, the Eternal Generation of the Son and the History of Reformed Exegesis | Reformation21 Blog

The Joy of Seeing Christ in the Old Testament | For The Church

How to Proclaim the Gospel from the Old Testament

How Did Jonathan Edwards Preach on Melchizedek, King of Salem? | TGC

From Blueprint to Building in Your Bible

Seeing Christ In All of Scripture | Green Baggins

Feeding on Christ The Spirit in the Old and New Testament | Feeding on Christ

The Preeminence of Christ in Preaching—Old or New Testament | Prince on Preaching

Help Me Teach the Bible: Liam Goligher on Isaiah (Part One)

Read More

Check out


Lots to catch up on after my week of teaching at Westminster Seminary.

On Knowing When to Resign
Best article I’ve read on the subject of pastoral resignations. File it away for the day you’ll need it.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?
If you haven’t yet read this, you need to:

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.

Our Wedding Date Is Set — Why Not Have Sex Now?
Sadly and badly needed.

12 Basic Principles for Faith and Work
Transform your Monday morning.

4 Money Principles for Millennials
Being a long-time Dave Ramsey listener, I’m not shocked by these stats.

How did millennials get into so much financial trouble? They’ve received little financial training, college tuition has skyrocketed during their lifetimes, and student loans have become as easy to get as candy canes on Christmas. This combination of factors has landed many millennials in debt, unable to achieve their goals. With all this debt, it’s harder to buy a home, own a car, save for retirement, and start a family. Many millennials are asking how they can make a difference in the world when they can barely make their debt payments.

Why Does It Take an Eclipse to Get Us to Look Up to the Heavens?
You don’t ned to be in the path of today’s eclipse to wonder and worship:

Let’s not wait until the next eclipse to stop and pause and wonder. Look up to the heavens, and then look further up, until you find joy in the God who enjoys his handiwork.

Today, More than Ever, Read Beyond the Headlines
To paraphrase Hosea 13:9: “O media, you have destroyed yourselves.”

I’m not sure the news will ever be the same after the presidency of Donald Trump. While the industry has already been in a long decline, it seems to have entered into an era of near-insanity as the networks and websites compete against one another to set new standards in thoughtless, bloviating reporting. Whether those networks love or hate the president, they seem to be tripping over themselves and one another to say the most the fastest, to constantly editorialize on every decision, every step, every misstep. Reading the news has become a grueling, exasperating chore. Watching it has become almost unbearable.

Walking Through It: A Family Violence Survivor’s Reflection
The basics of how to help victims of domestic abuse.

A New Set of Priorities for Our Kids
“We must intentionally teach our children the skills and character traits they’ll need to thrive in college and beyond. We must teach them about their need for three things in particular: passion, humility, and trust in a sovereign God.”

Kindle Books

Amazon are offering significant discounts on a number of Kindle devices.

God’s Love Compels Us: Taking the Gospel to the World by Don Carson and others $2.99.

Too Good to be True by Michael Horton $4.99.

Beating the College Debt Trap: Getting a Degree Without Going Broke by Alex Chediak $1.99.

New Book

God and the Transgender Debate: What does the Bible actually say about gender identity? by Andrew Walker

Divine Dew for Dry Souls

I will be as the dew to Israel. (Hosea 14:5)

Dry, dry, dry. Have you ever felt like that? Has your soul ever seemed like a desert? You look at the wastelands within your soul and you can’t find any bud or blossom, never mind any fruit. There is no refreshing, encouraging oasis anywhere. It wasn’t always like that. You can remember a time when there was bud, blossom, and fruit everywhere. There was a little oasis here and a little stream there. Spiritual life and liveliness flowed in your blood and all was well with your soul.

What happened? Well, many things happened, didn’t they? But the more important question is, how do you get out of this? We turn to Hosea to find the answer.

God gave Israel the land of Canaan as promised, a land which flowed with milk and honey. Under His blessing, they had known many years of fruitfulness and fertility. However, their disobedience had brought them and their land under the divinely promised curse. God withheld water from the land and the result was desert-dryness everywhere.

But, when this divine chastisement had humbled Israel and brought her to see her need of the Lord, He promised He would return with His dew. “I will be as the dew to Israel.” This is sovereign dew; God creates it, sends it, and controls it. This is softening dew; it soaks into the hardest soul and breaks the hardest clods. It is stimulating dew. It refreshes and invigorates. It is saving dew; it is God Himself who will be the dew. “I will be as the dew to Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”

So, dry soul, look up. It is the Lord alone who can refresh you and reinvigorate you. He can make the desert sand blossom into a rose. Each of His three Persons can drench you with dew. Even one of His attributes can saturate your soul. Just one of His words can break the hardest clod. “Lord, come, beautify and fructify me with yourself.”

Free Love

I will love them freely. (Hosea 14:4)

How much does your love cost? How much do you extract from someone in return for your love? How many diamonds must he buy to secure your love? How beautiful does she have to make herself to guarantee your continued love? How obedient do your children have to be to ensure your love? How many toys do your parents have to buy you to make you love them? How much does your love cost?

How much does God’s love cost? How much do we have to give Him? How much do we have to pay Him? How much do we have to do or say? How many laws do we have to keep? And for how long? The answer to all these questions is zero—nothing—nil. “I will love them freely.”

This is written over every page of God’s dealings with sinners. When we look at Abraham or Moses or David, we hear God saying, “I will love them freely.” When we look at Peter or Thomas or Saul of Tarsus, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When we see God’s people restored to God’s land, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When we see Christ with arms outstretched on Calvary’s cross, we hear, “I will love them freely.” When the Holy Spirit is poured out on Christ’s crucifiers at Pentecost, we hear, “I will love them freely.” Throughout all church history, the church has heard, “I will love them freely.”

And what about your own life, child of God? Is not “I will love you freely,” written above it? How much did God’s love cost you? How much did you pay for a godly upbringing? How much did you pay for faithful pastors? What was the price of your justification? How much for your adoption? Sanctification? Zero—nothing—nil. “I will love them freely.” If freely you have received, then freely give.