Hosea 1:2-11 God’s Faithfulness Through Judgment

Hosea’s relationships with his young bride and the three children that follow are powerfully symbolic of the Lord’s relationship with a nation that is spiritually unfaithful or adulterous. Throughout the Old Testament God is described as Israel’s husband. He found her, chose her, and cherished her in innocence. He is also called a father of spiritual sons and daughters who become rebellious, resisting his authority and questioning his love.

So Hosea’s marriage and his family are going to mirror God’s experience with the nation. Hosea is commanded to make the same choice that was before God. He is to love and then marry a woman who will become involved in physical adultery, just as God was confronted with the choice to be faithful to the people of Israel when they were committing spiritual adultery by compromising their absolute loyalty to him.

These two verses introduce central themes of the book of Hosea. This prophecy is really a symphony of grace, a weaving together of different themes. First of all, it is the haunting theme of unbroken love that comes from God’s broken heart and Hosea’s broken heart. God cannot give up on his bride regardless of how she has violated herself and her relationship to him. And Hosea will not be able to give up on Gomer in spite of her repeated unfaithfulness to him. If we are God’s people through Jesus, God chooses us, and chooses to choose us even when we are rejecting his faithfulness to us. There are no depths of sinful rebellion that we can sink to where he won’t seek us out and try to draw us back to himself, wanting to put us back into right relationship with him.

But the grace that is pictured in this story and in this series of prophecies is not cheap grace. As an expression of his gracious love God will exercise righteous judgment against the sin of Gomer and the sin of each of the children, just as he does against our sin. Judgment as a consequence of sin is another one of the tragic themes of this symphony of grace.

We really have to work hard to personalize this dilemma that God has in dealing with Israel’s unfaithfulness. One way to do it is to think about the cross of Calvary. Christ’s death there suggests two things that are held in tension in the heart of God. It reveals God’s judgment of sin, his jealous anger toward our unfaithfulness, his wrath that was deserved yet turned aside, and the penalty that was paid for sinful rebellion. But the cross also speaks of God’s loving forgiveness of sin, his merciful compassion toward our unfaithfulness, and our sin’s being washed away.

It is an astounding realization that God persistently chooses to be our God no matter what we have done or been. It really is amazing love. But it is love that we can’t take for granted.

Doug Goins

Heart Preparation
Read Hosea 1:2-11 as well as Isaiah 54:5 and 62:5. Notice how God is our faithful husband and yet while there will be consequences for sin, God continues to be faithful to pursue his people. How does the reality of God’s faithfulness despite your spiritual adultery drive you to worship? To share your faith? To live every moment of your day?

Posted on: August 8, 2014 - 7:10AM

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