Forever Loved

Valentines from God Series – February 2019

And [on that day] I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. —Hosea 2:19 ESV

He was a holy man. Known as a prophet who spoke for God in Israel. She was a very-not-holy woman. A prostitute. Repeatedly unfaithful even when married. What an unlikely pair. And yet, that is what God chose to do. He asked Hosea to marry Gomer. And, when Gomer was unfaithful and left him, God asked Hosea to go and “buy her back.” I wonder why she had to be bought back? Did she, or some evil man, sell her into slavery? Oh, how much I’d like to know about this broken woman loved by a prophet of God!

What a wild and unique story. A parable acted out to show a truth that endures. No matter how awful we are, no matter how broken and incapable of keeping promises, God’s desire is for us. His love is real. Because it’s real, God feels real pain when we are unfaithful, just as any spouse would feel searing hurt at unfaithfulness.

The God of all, who is complete in Himself, chooses to love in a way that will hurt Him. And despite our unfaithfulness, that love still holds. The book of Hosea is an emotional roller coaster ride as we read of God’s agony at the disregard His people have for Him after all the love He lavished upon them. It’s harsh at points. He is angry and leaves His people to their own folly. It’s incredibly “grace full” as well. His plan to rescue a disobedient and wayward people shows an uncommon, unheard of kind of love.

Oh, dear friend! Have you been unfaithful to the God who loves you? Do you choose to go your own way more often than not and ignore the One who made you and sings over you? Me too. I found myself, just this morning, looking at my phone and Facebook before meeting with the God I love and serve. Yes, this is a relatively small thing, but for me it was disobedience. Why? Why look at the lesser thing, when I could be meeting with the Best One? I did put that phone down and get on with my quiet time, but still I was struck, once again, by His grace in my life. By the fact that He welcomes me when I turn my disobedient self toward Him, and He holds me close.

Our verse today is rich with promise and love and assurance: And [on that day] I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. If we are His, despite our repeated unfaithfulness, He will be faithful. He will, someday, bring us to Himself forever. (That’s a very long time!) We will be betrothed in righteousness and justice, because the penalty for our unfaithfulness has been paid in full by the blood of His Son Jesus. We will be betrothed to One whose love is steadfast, and who is able to help us be steadfast, too. And we will be betrothed in mercy. Oh, how merciful He is to us!

I wonder how Gomer responded when Hosea, her faithful husband, went and found her in the worst of situations and bought her and brought her home, established as wife and mother in honor again. What led her to prostitution in the first place? What lies did she believe in her head that led her to repeatedly allow men to misuse her? And … did she, at last, settle down with Hosea, feeling loved and beloved despite her past? I think she did. And so can we. Our faithful God loves us that much. Now that’s a valentine to treasure!

Father God, how humbled I am by Your rich, faithful, hurting love for Your people. Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I dismiss it and treat that great Love with contempt in my disregard for You. I love that You love me! Help me to be steadfast in my love for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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