June 21, 2019
Throughout June groomsmen will stand at attention as the music swells and the bride begins her long walk down the aisle, arm in arm with her father. The smiling, but nervous, husband-to-be is breathless as he looks upon his bride in her wedding gown. He follows every step she takes, his eyes brimming with love. Happy tears flow as vows unite families. A wedding is a celebration of love. It is the holy mystery of two becoming one. Ordained by God, marriage illustrates God’s relationship with his people. There is no greater heartbreak than the violation of the sacred vows of marriage.
We read of such a story in the book of Hosea. God told Hosea to find a wife. God told him she would be unfaithful to him, but to marry her regardless. Although she would bear many children, other men fathered some of the children. It sounds like a modern-day episode of The Maury Show or Jerry Springer. Can you just see the title now, “Who’s Your Baby Daddy?” In obedience to God Hosea married Gomer knowing that she will be unfaithful.
One of the great joys of reading is immersing oneself in the story line. Allowing the story to transport you to a far-off land and time.To become one of the main characters in the plot line. How difficult to image Hosea’s feelings when God told him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful. Such a thought goes against everything we believe about marriage and happily-ever-after in American culture. Did it go against Hosea’s cultural belief system too?
The book of Hosea is a love story. Real, tragic, and true. But transcending the tale of man and wife, it tells of God’s love for his people. God made a covenant with Israel and he is faithful. His love is steadfast and his commitment unbroken. But Israel, like Gomer, was adulterous and unfaithful, rejecting God’s love and turning instead to false gods. Hosea’s love for Gomer became a living prophetic example of God’s love for Israel.
We might be disgusted by Gomer’s unfaithfulness to the man who loved her so deeply. We too run after other loves and turn to false gods. We pursue dreams, goals, interest, and entertainment that do not honor God. Just as Hosea went after his unfaithful wife, so the Lord pursues us with his love.
The book of Hosea dramatically portrays God’s constant and persistent love for us. This summer place your Bible at the top of your reading list and start with the book of Hosea. Experiencethe prophet give himself willingly to God’s direction. Grieve with him over the unfaithfulness of his wife. Hear the clear warning of judgment. Reaffirm your commitment to be God’s person. Faithful in your love and true to your vows.