Like many of the prophets of his time, God's word to Hosea changed his whole life. Hosea's task was to go make a wife out of a whore. (Hosea 1:2) So he married Gomer, and she bore him three children, whose names God told Hosea would mean, "God sows", "Not pitied" and "Not my people" (Hosea 1:3-4,6,8-9). Hosea's relationship with his wife was to mimic the faithlessness and infidelity of Israel to their God that had chosen them as a people. Yet even then, God tells Jezreel (God sows), to call his brother and sister "My people" and "Pitied", for Israel would be restored (Hosea 1:10-11, 2:1).
Hosea speaks of Israel's infidelity, and the punishment for such (Hosea 2). But he also tells Israel that they will be redeemed by God's love. "On that day, says the Lord, you will call me "My husband," and no longer will you call me "My master." I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord." (Hosea 2:16, 19-20). God still loved and wanted this adulterous woman who had been so unfaithful to him so many times. And in a time when an adulteress could be put to death if caught, God is saying that He chooses to save his people from the death that they deserve.
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Hosea is one of the most beautiful books in the Bible. It is a stark, perhaps even crude reminder of God's faithfulness to us, even in the midst of our unfaithfulness to him. And at times, we are unfaithful in the worst way. Hosea gives us insight into how God views spiritual fidelity (or rather, infidelity); it also shows us the hope that lies in our redemption, which ultimately points to our Redeemer.
"[S]ince all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith." Romans 3:23-25
It is this faithfulness of God that anchors us in our faith. We know that even as our faith falters, even as it trips and falls, overwhelmed by waves of doubt, and lured away by our idols, God is still faithful, his love is still steadfast, his grace is still enough and his mercy still endures. Let us strive also to be faithful to Him.
Be blessed and shine faithfully!
|This post was written specifically for the Christian Bloggers October 2013 Blog Challenge on faithfulness! Click the pic and check out the community!|