Today’s Reading: Hosea 1-3
I’m not sure how you are affected by today’s story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife. For me, it is painful beyond words. Perhaps there is nothing more painful for me than being betrayed by someone I love or feel close to! So did I think God would be otherwise? And more painful for me, is that He is perfect in everything, so would not his feelings be even stronger than mine? Probably! The thing that He felt so keenly at the cross, and drew from Him His cry of anguish, was “My God, My God, why did you forsake me?” Not that He rebelled against God, but that is the pain that drew from Him His cry of anguish!
So Hosea, in obedience to God’s command and at great personal cost, takes an adulterous wife, and his children are given the names they were given. It is God’s anguish at His adulterous nation. How adulterous? Maybe not so much in the literal sense, although that too, but the nation of Israel going after other gods and joining themselves to them by worshiping idols. Think of how dishonoured God must have been before others, by His people going to join themselves to idols, Asherah poles, stars etc. etc.
But God does “draw a line in the sand” so to speak? The names of Hosea’s children confirm that He will not only punish, but He will no longer show love to the house of Israel and He says clearly that He will no longer be their God and they will no longer be His people!
So then I begin to look into my life to see if there are things that replace my Lord’s place of supremacy? 1 John 5:21, written by the loving disciple, John, who leaned on Jesus at the last supper, tacks onto his letter in the last sentence – “Little children, keep yourselves from idols!” – whatever form that may take!
I love the next section – Hope for the Future! Judah and Israel reunited in the future and blessed! How? Someone paid the price, and it certainly wasn’t Israel or in our case, we ourselves! – That leaves room in our lives for gratefulness and thankfulness to our loving Maker!
But the sections about the pain that has been caused by unfaithfulness are indeed true. The statements seem so black and white, that it seems too hopeless a case, for the damage done to the relationship between God and His people (and us and God!) to ever be repaired! Yet God is love! And that statement baffles me, for I have yet to meet someone on earth who could say “I am love!” But our section ends with hope. God has paid the debt and He will restore in His good time! But meanwhile, it is so hurtful a thought, that I too like Israel, cause Him incredible hurt when I am unfaithful!
Our thanks to God, for Hosea, for his obedience to our God and the reality of the pain of heart, he suffered, so that we might begin to understand in a graphic way what we do to the Lord Jesus when we are unfaithful and turn to other things which we make more important, than Jesus Himself! My prayer today is that I may bring comfort and not pain to His tender heart! – Selah! (So let it be!)