"But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen."Hosea 1:7(NASB)
Hosea was used by God as a human picture of the incredible love of the Lord towards His people. The marriage of Hosea to his adulterous wife Gomer, not only paints a precious portrait of God's never-failing loving-kindness towards His people.. but also portrays the unalterable justice of a holy and righteous God, Who cannot look upon sin - but Whose character demands righteous judgement of the sin of the whole world.
From their wilderness wanderings when they murmured against the Lord and rebelled against His word.. to their dispersions in both Assyria and their 70-year-long captivity in Babylon.. the split nation of Israel and Judah had, to a greater or lesser degree, dishonoured their God, blasphemed His holy name, broken His commands, lusted after other gods and played the adulterous wife throughout their torrid history.
The northern kingdom of Israel had already been dispersed among the nations and the remnant of Judah's southern kingdom were soon to be taken captive to Babylon, due to the their long and continuous rebellious disobedience against God.
The call for the nation to repent, to return back to the God of their forefathers.. to observe kindness and justice and to wait continually for God, fell on unreceptive ears and stony hearts.. and yet in His goodness and grace.. God continued to draw His people back to Himself, promising their restoration - albeit, through severe punishment.
The marriage of righteous Hosea to his adulterous wife is an amazing illustration of Israel's apostasy and God's faithfulness towards them. It beautifully contrasts Hosea's godly love and steadfast faithfulness - with his wife's rebellious, ungodly adultery. Just as Hosea did not abandon his disgustingly sinful wife - even so the Lord has never abandoned His outrageously errant nation. And despite the fact that Israel and Judah had far exceeded the boundaries of the conditional covenant they made with God through Moses.. where they solemnly promised.. “all that God has said we will do..' they quickly abandoned their pious promises.. causing God to have to expose their guilt and pronounce judgement on His disobedient servants.
But this is an illustration for our learning and for our application as Church age believers. We need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or if our itching ears and lustful leanings are being enticed into the camps of heresy and apostasy - i.e. spiritual adultery. We need to examine where our loyalties lie and what motivates our actions and attitudes and we need to check to see if we have turned away from our first love towards the fluff and flitter of this filthy world system.
May we all take to heart this touching picture of the incredible love of the Lord towards His people and if we have in any way indulged in ungodly actions or attitudes towards the Lord or simply left our first love - may we turn from our sinful way and return to the Lord. May we observe kindness and justice as we fix the eyes of our heart continuously upon the Lord Jesus Christ - our faithful God and gracious Saviour
Heavenly Father, what an amazing illustration of Your loving-kindness and gracious faithfulness is found in the book of Hosea. I pray that from this day forward I would resist the enticements of this world system and look to Jesus day by day and moment by moment.. doing only those things that honour Your name - to Your praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.