” ‘I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD… And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people! And they shall say, You are my God!’ ” ~ Hosea 2:19-20, 23b
In the book of Hosea, God illustrates His love story with Israel through the real-life story of Hosea and his marriage to an unfaithful woman. His wife, Gomer, cheated on him repeatedly, broke his heart, destroyed their marriage, and caused much pain. Yet Hosea wooed her, forgave her, and took her back.
At first glance, most of us would suggest that Gomer didn’t deserve the restoration and forgiveness given to her. After all, adultery is a valid reason for the breakup and dissolution of a marriage. But wait a minute. How many of US deserve the restoration and forgiveness that God freely offers us when we have been unfaithful to Him? That would be zero. Zilch. Nada.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:.. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:10, 23
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:7-8
” ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ “~ John 3:16-17
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, so that we might live. Our sin has already condemned us, but God made a way to save us through Jesus on the cross. Jesus took our death penalty (Romans 6:23). We just have to accept this free gift, believe on Jesus, and receive God’s grace ~ unearned, undeserved, mercy and love and kindness and forgiveness. Restoration and forgiveness.
“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’ ” ~ Jeremiah 31:3
God’s checed (the Hebrew word translated as lovingkindness throughout the Old Testament) is faithful. We are told in Lamentations 3:22 ~ “The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.”
Even though we are many times unfaithful and bring hurt to the heart of God, like the nation of Israel in the time of Hosea, God is always faithful, His checed never ceases; it never fails. He woos us back to His side, pledges to be our Bridegroom, and will always care for us and love us, no matter what.
And “Till death do us part” doesn’t apply when we have Jesus as our Saviour! Even death shall not “be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:39b
“And they shall say, You are my God!”