Now I will uncover her lewdness
in the sight of her lovers,
and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
11 And I will put an end to all her mirth,
her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,
and all her appointed feasts.
12 And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
of which she said,
‘These are my wages,
which my lovers have given me.’
I will make them a forest,
and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
13 And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
when she burned offerings to them
and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
and went after her lovers
and forgot me, declares the Lord.
The Lord's Mercy on Israel
14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor[a] a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
Is she crazy? Why does he bother? She isn’t worth it! Why doesn’t he just give up and move on? She is worthless. She is an embarrassment. What a waste.
Hosea was given one of the worst ministry assignments of all time! Marry Gomer, an unfaithful prostitute, and remain faithful to her and love her. As Hosea’s friends and fellow townspeople watch his life unfold, imagine what they thought? Imagine what you would have thought.
The relationship between Hosea and Gomer is a picture of God’s relationship with Israel and with us. Although Israel had been unfaithful, and she was suffering consequences, the Lord continued to love and be tender toward her. God is illustrating to us, through Hosea’s story, what it is like when someone is unfaithful. Gomer turned again and again to other lovers, her infidelities broke his heart, BUT he never stopped loving her. So too is God’s love for us, ever faithful for his unfaithful people.
Believe in that kind of love. That is exactly how much God loves you. Through your unfaithful times, his love is unfailing.
Dear God, I believe in your love! Thank you for your ever faithful love even when I wander and stray, pulled away by selfishness, greed, apathy, and other worldly loves. Help me to be faithful to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Ruthie Steen Disciple at St. John’s Lutheran Church