When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.” So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. Hosea 1:2-3
As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is not who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes …. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:10-18; 22-26
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God …. because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:1-2, 5B-8
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Because God’s love is unchanging and therefore not subject to influence, we can always count on it. The story of Hosea and Gomer lets us see a love that is unchanging and unconditional. This in turn helps us see more clearly the unchanging and unconditional love God has for His people. We are told that God loves the world but we must realize that everyone does not benefit from that love equally. God’s love is a gift that must be received. There are those who will not believe (they will not respond to His proposal of marriage) and there are those who believe but are not faithful (they go after other lovers). God’s people Israel were married to Him so to speak, but they were unfaithful. It is pretty tough for a wife to benefit from the love of her husband if she is giving herself to other lovers. Similarly, it is tough for us to benefit from God’s love if we give ourselves to substitutes for Him. Because God’s love for us is unchanging and unconditional, He waits for our return so that He can pour out His love into our lives.
This is the kind of love Hosea had for Gomer. The unfaithfulness of Gomer depicts how Israel has acted toward God. Hosea depicts God Who in His unchanging and unfailing love waits constantly for Israel to return. God is always waiting with unchanging and unconditional love for those who yet need to respond to His salvation (proposal of marriage) and those (believers) who have been unfaithful (gone after substitutes) and need to return (forsake substitutes) to Him. It is hard for the unbeliever and the believer alike to recognize and admit the failings of sin. We fall short and only God can bridge the gap through His Son, Jesus Christ. God’s love, by which he gave us Christ and the provision of grace that takes care of our sin, was given while we were yet sinners with nothing to offer but failure. Therefore, His love continues to be available to us freely in our ongoing brokenness and failure.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, thank you that you were there with your love all the time I paid no attention to you. Thank you for waiting for me and never giving up on me. Thank you for a love that saved me from my sins and established me in a forever relationship with you. Thank you for making your love available to me no matter how far astray I went or how long it took for me to respond. I am truly blessed. Amen!
Posted on Wed, May 10, 2017
by Ken Hart