GOD'S LOVE DEFINED
Saturday, 14 April, 2018
Hosea 3 : 1-5
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again and love your wife, even when she is….. not faithful. Love her as the Lord loves the people of Israel even when they turn to other gods…”–Hosea 3:1 [NLV]
God sometimes chooses extraordinary ways to communicate to His people. Hosea the prophet was called to bring His message of love to His wayward people. And the method? Hosea was asked to marry a harlot (Hosea 1:2) and show his love to her; in this way the Lord wanted to convey the powerful message of Him being a faithful Husband to an adulterous nation! Hosea’s marriage was an illustration of the way the Lord expressed His love to an undeserving people who had spurned His deep love!
In our reading today, we see 4 ways God defines His love to His people:
A Seeking Love: In telling Hosea to GO and love his wife who had walked away from him, God shows us His love that seeks, comes after us even when we reject Him. In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7), the shepherd left the 99 in order to seek the stray 1 sheep! Because God loved us not to see us perish in our sin, He sent His only Son so that we might have eternal life through Him (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9) “But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” (Romans 5:8 CEV)
A Faithful Love: In asking Hosea to go show his love to his unfaithful wife, the Lord said he wanted to show how He loved Israel even though they had gone after other gods! It must have torn the heart of Hosea to see his wife seek lovers when he had been so faithful to her. How much the heart of God grieves, when we willfully turn from Him and His ways and choose to walk in our way! Yet he calls us back into His loving arms always ready to receive if we repent and return! “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lam.3:22-23 NLT)
A Redeeming Love: Hosea went and paid a ransom to redeem his wife from harlotry! God was ready to redeem Israel. Later we know that His Son paid the price of ransom for each of us with His precious blood! Eph.1:7[AMP] “In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace.” O What redeeming love!
A Restoring Love: God promises a restoration whereby His people will return: “Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God…” (Vs.5). The latter days imply the days of the Messiah where they will enjoy the goodness of the Lord. As God speaks in the prophecy to Joel about a restoration from the different devouring locusts (Joel 2:25-27), He is able to restore to you all the years satan has eaten off your life when you had walked away from God’s love. Jesus in removing the curse from your life has brought in the blessing of Abraham through Him!(Galatians 3:13,14).
God defines His love to you today, dear one. How long will you turn away from Him? He is a God of second chance and yearns that you understand His unfailing love—He wants to forgive, comfort and give you a new beginning! As He waits with open arms to restore you, would you return?
Thought: “I asked Jesus, ‘How much do you love me?’ And Jesus said, ‘This much.’ Then He stretched out His arms and died.” ~Unknown
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