A Tale of Holy Love, Unfaithfulness, Justice, Mercy, and Grace
If you had any doubts about Hosea 6:1-3 being a false confession, God’s response should settle the question in your mind. It did for me. After Israel’s eloquent and verbose declaration to return, God doesn’t even acknowledge it. He doesn’t pat them on the back and say, “Oh good for you! I’m glad that I was finally able to get through to you!” On the contrary! His response is more along the lines of, “You still don’t get it, do you?”
“What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.”
We’ll explore the rest of God’s reply to Israel’s false confession next week, but today I want to stop and take a closer look at the similes used in this verse.
God was likening Israel’s love like the morning cloud and the dew of the early morning—two things very fleeting and transitory in nature. Both the dew and morning cloud appear in the early morning after a cool night. Likewise, Israel’s love was renewed after the dark season of night. However, once times got better and the sun began to shine, Israel’s love would fade, evaporate, and disappear. After the difficulty of darkness, Israel’s love was beautiful to behold when the sun began to appear, but it didn’t last. It was temporary.
So what about us? Are we also guilty of giving God a love like dew? Do we run to Him when the going gets tough, but then drift away once the sun comes out? Is our love and faithfulness fleeting and transitory like the early morning cloud?
It is easy to profess love and faith in God when times are hard, when we most desperately need His strength, and when human strength has failed us. However, it is during those good times, the prosperous and abundant seasons that our faith and love are most tested. If our love for God is like dew, it will quickly evaporate under the warmth and glory of good times. But if our love is strong and sure, like a tree planted by streams of living water, than we will not be moved no matter what life throws our way. We will remain steadfast, immovable, and constant.
Therefore, may we become strong in our love for our faithful LORD. May we not share in Israel’s dew-like love, but may ours be constant, faithful, and steadfast—never waning through the good times and the bad. This is what God desires and expects from His children. So may we, by Christ’s strength, love God back with whole-hearted, full devoted, never ending abandon.
“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.”