Sunday, April 9
Weird names. Sketchy goings-on. Terms like “sacred raisin cakes”. The book of Hosea is kind of like that weird relative you avoid, but then find out that they actually have some interesting things to say.
Hosea offers us some of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching images of God’s love for us in all of Scripture.
Have you ever watched a movie where someone gets cheated on? Maybe you even know someone in real life that has experienced this. A husband or wife finds out that the one who promised to love them, to never leave them, has found someone new.
“I made a mistake,” they may say. “You’re not the one for me, I’ve found my soul mate and I’m leaving.”
As hurtful as that is, can you imagine how much more hurtful for a wife to tell her husband that she loves him, but spends her weekends sleeping with not one, but many, other men. It’s beyond comprehension that any marriage could survive that, or that any husband would put up with it.
But that’s exactly what God says He does. And can you guess the part we play in this story? It’s not the faithful husband, I can tell you that!
Hosea shows us that God tries many things to get His unfaithful spouse (us) back when we walk away. Do you see him doing any of these things in your life?
Verses 2: 6-7 show us that sometimes God blocks our paths when we start to go astray:
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’
Sometimes God ‘allures’ us. He brings flowers, and lavishes gifts and affection on us. Wooing us to choose Him again (2:14).
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
Can you feel God’s shoulders slumping, His head dropping, as the hurt of being cast aside washes over Him when he says (2:8),
She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.
Ultimately, God shares the dream of every abandoned spouse…reconciliation. “One day,” the scorned wife thinks, “One day he’ll come back to me and be mine again. One day he’ll wake up and see what he’s given up…”
God says (2:23):
I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
For myself. God wants you for himself.
Friend, you don’t ever need to wonder if God loves you.
Susan is a teacher turned homeschooling mom turned blogger. She is married to her favorite person and they live in balmy Minnesota with their two sons and their dog, Scout (who is the sweetest and most desperately infatuated mama’s boy on earth). Her favorite Psalm is Psalm 84; and her favorite passage of Scripture overall is Job 23:8-10 (because it reminds us that even when we can’t see God…He sees us). She knows that she is blessed far more than she deserves, and seeks to follow Jesus’ example of spreading grace and truth.