Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.”
Hosea married a woman (Gomer) who played the harlot. God used Hosea’s marriage to illustrate vividly His relationship to Israel as their loving and devoted Husband.
In this book of Hosea, we see the broken heart of God hurting for what Israel is doing to Him and to herself. Yet, He lets Israel go her own way. The loving Husband allows his wife Israel to sell herself to other men. The “raisin cakes” of pagan religion are just too alluring to resist. Children are born, most likely they are other men’s (Hosea 2:4). He watches in agony as she begins to reap the consequences of her idolatrous ways.
It leaves Israel broken, poor, used up, empty and destitute. The image in Hosea is of a harlot that had been used so much she is only worth half the price of a slave. Can you imagine Hosea walking up to that slave market? Can you picture when their eyes first met? What did she look like at that point? How did Hosea view her? With what kind of heart and attitude did Hosea approach his wife?
With love. With mercy. With grace. With acceptance.
God, because of His great love, redeemed Israel and brought her back to Himself. He “allured her,” “spoke kindly to her,” and blessed her richly even after this devastating betrayal (Hosea 2:13-19).
He does the same for us today. It is precisely the picture of grace that God shows to you and me.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
The church is like that bride. We are Gomer. We all have sinned, played the harlot and left the loving husband, God Almighty. Yet in love He purchased us back to Himself, not with 15 shekels and bushels of poor man’s grain, but with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Let’s think about this over the weekend. May it renew our love for our wonderful God and remind us of how we should think of each other.
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.