This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[Hos 3:1 NIV] The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
No other story encapsulates the reckless love of God more than the story of Hosea. Here God calls Hosea to not only forgive but to rescue his adulteress wife at his own expense. God says that this is to be, a reflection, of how He Himself is dealing with His bride, Israel.
As overwhelming as this story is there are a few take-aways about forgiveness we can all seek to apply to our own life as we process the wounds we may be dealing with.
First, forgiveness is not dependent on the other person. God says nothing about Hosea’s wife asking, repenting, or doing anything to deserve his forgiveness. God called Hosea to act despite the current situation Hosea’s wife was in. Corrie Ten Boom said “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” Forgiveness does not require two people; it is a choice we can make regardless of the other person.
Second, forgiveness was to be a reflection of God’s love, not, our love. Hosea was to make this an act of obedience to God, not a response to an individual. Multiple times in the NT (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; Matt 6:15) we are commanded to forgive in obedience to God; nothing else. Our forgiveness is a choice we make to honor God and guard our hearts against the destructive power of bitterness. Because of what Jesus has done for each of us, we are instructed and enabled to forgive. The greatest gift God has given to you and has called you to give others is the gift of forgiveness! It is at the core of the gospel. Take a moment today to unwrap His forgiveness and ask the Lord who He may be calling to share this gift with as well!