Today’s Reading: Hosea 1:1-3:5 (additional reading: Psalm 124:1-8 & Proverbs 29:5-8)
The book of Hosea is the most shocking book in the Old Testament. Few people can imagine what it would be like to be married to a woman like Gomer. She had no inner moral compass — no restraints. You could never trust her. You would know that she was always looking for some excitement. You would see her invite the attention of other men and then deny it vehemently. The ability to make a commitment would never be a part of her character. She would disappear for days at a time and you would not know where she was. She would cruelly mock you and you would be the laughingstock of the town. She was full of moral turpitude.
It has happened to other people besides Hosea, but Hosea went into the relationship with his eyes wide open. He knew what kind of woman she was, but God had asked him to marry her; and he willingly did so, in spite of the enormous pain it would bring into his life.
The prophet’s actions would be a living drama playing out the message of God in a dramatic way. There were many of these prophetic plays which took place, but none were as painful as when God asked Hosea to marry Gomer. Why did God ask him to do something like this? It was an ongoing drama of God’s marriage to unfaithful Israel. As people saw Gomer, a woman with no moral sense, becoming more vulgar and diseased every year, they remembered that she was the prophet’s wife and he had married her knowing that she would be unfaithful. They would ultimately get the message that there was a parallel between Hosea’s relationship to Gomer and God’s relationship to them. They were to be married to God, but they were unfaithful to him and loved many other gods.
According to our way of thinking, God is unreasonable. We would choose to love someone who loved us. We would look for someone we thought would be faithful to us. But God chose the messed up people of the world – He chose us. Listen to this outrageous verse from the Bible: That’s unreasonable. And how about this: “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). When God enters into a covenant of love with us, the covenant does not depend on our faithfulness, but on the faithfulness of God.
We keep thinking that God only loves good people, but God loves sinners. He pursues them like he asked Hosea to pursue Gomer. In his pain, he goes looking for them. He is betrayed but he longs for them. When they become enslaved by their sins, he buys them back.
How does the way God shows love affect the way that you love?
Father, Thank You that You loved us while we were still sinners. Thank You that while we could never be good enough for You to love us, You loved us anyway and brought us into a relationship with You. Help us to show grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen