Tuesday, 23 February 2021
Hosea 2:23: “… And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people!’And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’”
The Book of Hosea is quite unique in respect to God’s great grace and mercy to His beloved, the nation of Israel who had forsaken Him in search of fertility gods of the land that gave promise of rain and crops—a kind of prosperity gospel in their day. They failed to understand that the entire land was a gift from God (Deut. 32:49) and they were His. How soon forgot they this!
The picture of marriage between God and Israel that Hosea portrays (Vs.19, 20) suggests a strong affection which is one-sided; God’s love for Israel is an act of His will and choice. God chose Israel in spite of what she was, not because of what she was. Moses said that in Deut. 7:7&8 "God loved Israel because He loved her." God’s love is totally of grace and mercy.
But Israel did not cherish this love of God that was poured out to her and she behaved just as Gomer (Hosea’s unfaithful wife). She left the true love and indulged in harlotry. Hosea's life was the example that God used to teach His people of how they had forsaken Him for others. The same message is given by Jesus to the Ephesian church in Rev. 2:4 “You have left your first love.” Is this where you stand today? Have you exchanged the TRUE LOVE for the vain things of the world? God made each one of us (not just Israel) for Himself. If we derive our satisfaction from somewhere else, we commit great harlotry against God.
From Vs.14–23 we can see three things God does for us.
First: God's Pursuing Love. He wants to win us back from the life of rebellion
V.14: "Behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her." He never gives up on us. He compares His love to be greater than a mother's love - a love that is incomparable in the world - Yet he says in Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." We see this love when Jesus’ sinless hands were crucified for you and me.
Secondly: God promises hope and safety. V.15: "And there I will give her vineyards and make the valley of Achor, a door of hope." There is always healing and blessing when one returns to God in repentance and on God's terms. The valley of Achor represented trouble and separation from God due to sin (Joshua 7:26), but when a sinner returns to God, He is able to restore what we have lost. Sin always steals away our hope and peace. Isaiah 53:5 says 'For our peace He was punished.' Jesus paid a price to give us this hope and safety-this is His promise to us. He is faithful to keep His word, provided you are willing to return to him.
Thirdly: God renews His Commitment – Vs. 19, 20: "And I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord." Three times He says: “I will betroth you”! God is a Covenant-Keeping God-He can never go back on His Word.
The message is clear: We did not choose the Lord; but He chose us (John 15:16). No matter how tarnished we are, just as when a wife of harlotry returns— when we turn to Him, He draws us to himself, covers our shame and guilt by the price paid by our sinless Saviour, establishing a new relationship of love where we will be His people and He will be our God (V.23).
Thought for the Day: "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities." (Psalm103:10)