A Tale of Holy Love, Unfaithfulness, Justice, Mercy, and Grace
We started this study five months ago and as we draw to a close, I can’t help but look back and be awed at what an amazing journey and adventure it has been! God’s Word is alive and active, and this priceless love story between Hosea and Gomer and parallel story between the LORD and Israel hold so many truths and lessons for us, modern day, 21st century readers.
We’ve watched Hosea marry a woman of tarnished reputation and remain faithful to her even when she returns to her sordid profession. His love for her was so strong and relentless that He even went and bought her back, rescuing her a second time from the darkness of prostitution. That’s unconditional, never ending love! But Hosea’s love for Gomer was only a shadow, a living, breathing example and representation of God’s love for Israel and for us.
Just like Gomer, Israel abandoned her one true Love and ran off after the world. She pursued pleasure, wealth, fame, and glory and completely forgot about the God who loved her and redeemed her. But God did not forget Israel. Though Israel broke her holy covenant with the LORD and committed spiritual adultery and multiple fronts, God remained faithful to this wayward people. His love for her never changed but actively pursued and sought to win her heart back. For God’s love is unconditional, eternal, and relentless.
While this truth might not have been apparent throughout the whole book, it was the common theme and reason behind the entire book. Though the majority of the fourteen chapters of this book of prophesy were filled with messages of future judgment, accusation, and God’s holy anger, at the end of the day it was all about love. A love that would not let sin go unpunished or a wayward people undisciplined. A love that says “I’m willing to allow hardship, judgment, and calamity into your life now in order to save you from eternal judgment and condemnation in the future.” A love that was willing in the face of righteous and holy anger to forgive if they would only repent.
This is what the book of Hosea is all about. Though it is filled with many other things, in its simplicity it is a tale of love. And as we walk away from this study, if there is only one thing we can take away with us it should be this: God’s love is unending and relentless; it will pursue us hard and far and will not give up on us. What an awesome and amazing, unfathomable love that is!
“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.”
So what was your favorite verse from Hosea? What lessons did you learn? What truths did you take away from this often neglected book?