God loves me no matter what I do or have done or even will do in the future. He loves me so much that He draws me to Him even when I am unfaithful to Him, when I live in this world as though it is my home and He is not!
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
Israel was, once again, worshiping idols, calling them gods. They were allowing those around them to change the ways in which they worshiped God, slipping in their new moon celebrations and their feasts. The children of God were running away from the covenant with which they made with the God of the universe. And God was not pleased.
“Plead with your mother, plead—
for she is not My wife,
and I am not her Husband—
that she put away her whoring from her face,
and her adultery from between her breasts;
lest I strip her naked
and make her as in the day she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
and make her like a parched land,
and kill her with thirst. Hosea 2:2-3
Israel’s provision was from God yet they ignored the Provider.
And she did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished on her silver and gold,
which they used for Baal. Hosea 2:8
Israel turned away from God.
Therefore I will take back My grain in its time,
and My wine in its season, and I will take away My wool and My flax, which were to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of My hand. Hosea 2:9-10
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. Hosea 2:13
God expresses exasperation with His children, but still loves them. He wants them back, desiring that they honor the covenant He made with them. The God of the universe gently calls His bride back, shielding her from being able to go out and find her lovers – her idols, her gods.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14
“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call Me ‘My Baal.’ ” Hosea 2:16
God is so merciful, surrounding Israel with His steadfast love, His faithfulness, His justice, His righteousness. He is so wonderful to them…to me.
Even when I stray, do abominations towards Him, He never ceases to love me and allure me back to Himself.
And I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Hosea 2:19-20a
God loves His bride so perfectly that He will pursue her until she repents, returns, becomes His bride.
And you shall know the LORD. Hosea 2:20b
Through all my wanderings and prodigal daughter-ness over many years, God knew where I was physically and spiritually. He followed me, protected me, called me to Himself. I came to a place where the brambles and thorns would no longer allow me to return to my idols or pagan gods. Those walls kept me from trying to find the things of this world that so attracted me away from Him. Yes, the world and satan had, and still have, a way of luring me aside, but that call, the beautiful call of God, is so much stronger and sweeter that I would much rather be in His Presence. I would much rather be betrothed to my Husband and Redeemer. It is far more dear to me to know the LORD! Far more dear! Thank You, Jesus.
Hosea served around the same time that Isaiah served, as seen by looking at verse one, chapter one in each of their books. The kings listed are the same. Hosea’s ministry was to the northern kingdom of Israel while Isaiah’s ministry was to the southern kingdom of Judah…
The word of the LORD that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. Hosea 1:1
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Isaiah 1:1
The same perverseness was occurring in both kingdoms. God called them all to Himself.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the LORD has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against Me. Isaiah 1:2
Later in Isaiah, God continues to call His bride to Himself:
For your Maker is your Husband,
the LORD of hosts is His name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth He is called. Isaiah 54:5
Thank You, Father, for wanting me back. Thank You for not rejecting me even when I fail You. I know I have disappointed You so many times, just as Israel has done, yet You love us enough to continually call us back under Your wings. I am so grateful. I pray I remain with You for the remainder of my earthly life. I know I will be at Your feet in eternity. Hallelujah, what a Savior! You have rescued me. I am learning more and more about You. I want to know You, Lord. Thank You for allowing me such a privilege. In the Precious Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay; and edited @ Canva –https://www.canva.com/design/DADduguRCtc/jmZDRDUots57UVVlW9AIZQ/edit
“Hosea 2” – used with permission from John the Baptist Artworks @ https://jtbarts.com/gallery/john-the-baptist-artworks-series/hosea-2/
“Hosea 1” – used with permission from John the Baptist Artworks @ https://jtbarts.com/gallery/john-the-baptist-artworks-series/hosea-1/