I’m devoting the next few weeks to working on a project that’s going to demand most of my mental energy. So apart from the usual Mon-Fri Checkout which will continue, I won’t be writing an additional daily article. Instead, I’m going to post a series of daily devotionals on Hosea that I wrote a few years ago.

I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth. (Hosea 2:17)

God’s Old Testament people were taught so many of God’s names: Jehovah-jireh (the Lord who provides), Jehovah-nissi (the Lord our banner), Jehovah Rophi (the Lord who heals), Jehovah Ra-ah (the Lord who sees), etc. They had been entrusted with so many profound and precious divine names.

And yet, what names did they take up in their lips but the names of Baalim (“lords”), the names of the heathen gods and deities. They forsook the name of the one Lord and spoke the name of many lords. As God listened to Israel day by day, it was not His own name He heard but rather those of false gods.

Despite this, here God promises that He will one day come and take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth. He will do it, and it will happen. The names of heathen gods which dominated their conversation and even their worship would be heard no more. God will put a new song in their mouth to magnify Him. It may seem impossible. How can Israel break the habit? How can they simply stop what they had gotten so used to doing? The great secret is in the divine “I will.”

Was there not a time, Christian, when your mouth was full of the names of Baalim? Despite your godly upbringing, your conversation was full of the Baalim of this world. You spoke of football and baseball, of supermodels and singers, of celebrities and millionaires. These were your lords, your Baalim. When God came down to listen for His name in your life and home, all He heard were the names of Baalim. Where was the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above every name?

But God, who is rich in mercy, came down to your mouth and took away the names of Baalim. You have no interest in them anymore. You don’t want to talk about them anymore (Ps. 16:4). Instead, the precious names of the Lord are your meat and drink.

And what if your mouth is still full of Baalim? Bring your mouth to God and say, “I can’t stop this. I can’t save myself. Come and take away the names of Baalim out of my mouth. Take away the lords and make me confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”