12-10-06

Hosea was asked to do a difficult thing.  God wanted Hosea to marry a prostitute.  When they had kids, God had them named horrible things like “no mercy” and “not my people”.  Sin carries a horrible price.  Sin brings such pain.  But the story didn’t end there.  When Hosea’s wife started cheating on him, God taught Hosea to bring her back.  This would be a lesson of how God loves His people.  Even when they go astray and don’t trust Him, God loves His people. God’s love isn’t aimed at getting even; God’s love is aimed at restoration. As I look at the whole book, a couple of things stand out to me.

First, love has hard things to say.  Those middle chapters of Hosea where the people’s sins are spelled out are tough, but they’re also the truth. Before God can restore me, I need to face my problem.  Just because you love me doesn’t mean that there isn’t going to be a time when you need to tell me something difficult.  Love will say hard things.

Second, love doesn’t quit.  Love seeks out the lost one. “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him” (Hosea 14:4 NKJV). God hasn’t quit loving you.  He wants you close to Him.

Third, love heals.  The big sin of the nation was how they followed after idols.  But one day, having been changed by God’s love, they would say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?” (Hosea 14:8 NKJV).  You may not like everything I do, but if you’ll keep loving me, who knows what might happen?

Beloved, this how God loves us.  This is how we are to love one another.