Meet Hosea… He’s got a few marital problems
In Time They’ll Come Back
3 Then God ordered me, “Start all over: Love your wife again,
your wife who’s in bed with her latest boyfriend, your
Love her the way I, God, love the Israelite people,
even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.”
2-3 I did it. I paid good money to get her back.
It cost me the price of a slave.
Then I told her, “From now on you’re living with me.
No more whoring, no more sleeping around.
You’re living with me and I’m living with you.”
4-5 The people of Israel are going to live a long time
stripped of security and protection,
without religion and comfort,
godless and prayerless.
But in time they’ll come back, these Israelites,
come back looking for their God and their David-King.
They’ll come back chastened to reverence
before God and his good gifts, ready for the End of the story of his love.
God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute. As a result Hosea's family life reflected the "adulterous" relationship which Israel had built with the gods of other nations. In the book of Hosea the relationship between Hosea and Gomer parallels the relationship between God and Israel. Even though Gomer runs away from Hosea and sleeps with another man, he loves her anyway and forgives her. In the same way, even though the people of Israel worshipped false gods, God continued to love them and did not abandon his covenant with them. Most of the book of Hosea is a love song from God to Israel, recounting all that he has done for them, all the blessings he has given them pleading with them to return to him and receive his forgiveness and prosper in his love.
Today’s complex character is Hosea;
God, you try me,
you test me
almost beyond enduring.
My name seems a mockery,
Yet I cannot save her to whom I was married.
Still less the nation to whom you sent me.
She is faithless
yet I am faithful.
They are faithless
yet you are faithful.
Our life together mirrors
the life of Israel
lived out in your sight, Lord
in fickleness and frailty.
Your word came to me, oh Lord
you commanded me
to take to wife a faithless women.
And I was faithful
to you, oh God
and to Gomer.
I married her
because I love you, Lord
I was faithful to her
because I loved her.
I waited for her when she ran from me
as you, Lord wait for Israel
Lord, have mercy upon me!
Lord, have mercy upon my wife!
Lord, have mercy upon my nation!
For the sake of my faithfulness
welcome us home.