Read: Hosea 2:14-3:5
I met my wife in middle school. She was hot and I was a hormonal preteen who did not know Jesus. There were a lot of us in my public middle school and looking back on those days makes me cringe. We would objectify our female classmates as things to be conquered and enjoyed; after all, this was the message that movies and pop culture fed us and the impulses that our flesh affirmed. There are many fond and good memories from my middle school and early high school years, but there are also many regrets.
Then in the summer between my sophomore and junior year, God showed me His beauty and His glory, and my life was radically transformed. The young man who selfishly looked to use others for his own enjoyment and his own pleasure died, and the new man born looked to serve and love others. One of the first acts of obedience God called me to do was to call up several people whom I had treated horribly and ask them to forgive me. Unbeknownst to me, one of those people was my future wife. The conversation was difficult, but God had begun a work in her life that was providentially timed to coincide with my own repentance and faith, and she forgave me with the same mercy she was receiving from Christ.
When I look at our passage for this week, I am astounded by the love of God. Much like my wife chose to forgive me and then later make me a part of her life forever; God shows mercy to Israel and then welcomes them into His life as a husband welcomes a bride! He says, “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.”
Can you believe that! He pursues us like Hosea pursues Gomer. We who in our stupidity and arrogance demanded that the God who created us in love, bow down to us and serve us. We who have prostituted ourselves and served and obeyed other gods. We who have used and abused each other for our own selfish reasons. We who have dealt mercilessly with others.
And yet, God’s love is unthwarted and in our sin He buys us back with the priceless life of His own Son.
O how He loves us!