by Meg Pittman Kelsey
(originally posted on June 9, 2008)
The book of Hosea is a good snapshot of the Old Testament as well as our life as a sinner saved by grace. Hosea is called by God:
Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness (1:2)
Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. (3:1)
Hosea’s marriage to an adulterous betrayer portrays the painful relationship between God and his chosen people. Israel is basically a despicable whore but God displays both patience and wrath as he captivates and loves her in the midst of her prostitution. The persistent groom actively pursues her. He pays a price for her, and accepts her back again and again and again.
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. (2:14)
You will call me ‘my husband’ and no longer call me ‘my master’ (2:16)
I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. (14:4)
There is no logic in or reason for God’s love. But He loves us. What lunacy! That alone is proof of his miraculous power.
We cannot start to understand the magnitude of His love without first considering the magnitude of our adultery. How many times in how many ways have we chosen something or someone else over God? The way I spend my time might suggest that I am having an affair with the internet, or work, or myself. If I ever feel frustrated or stagnant spiritually its usually because I’m not fully giving myself to the Lord, my Lover, my Pursuer. This minor prophet doesn’t paint a pretty picture of our role in the story, but thankfully the Protagonist heals and renews in a beautiful way.
God, I am sorry. I have given my heart away, I have sinned and I have loved another. But I want to be faithful and love you alone. I want to give my heart to you and you alone. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for not giving up on me. Reveal any unclean way in me; search my heart. You have not finished the good work in me, and I press on to accept and display your love.
Dearest, beautiful (your name),
I will answer you and care for you. I am like a green pine tree; (your name), your fruitfulness comes from me.
(Hosea 14:8 MPK translation)