Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Hosea? This morning I read through the book and was again enamored at God’s command for Hosea to take a hooker for a wife. The ESV says it this way, “the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom” the Amplified Version, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry“, the NIV, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife” and the NLT says “Go and marry a prostitute“.
What….Why? Why would God want him to do such a thing? Oh! I see, it is a picture lesson. I guess I should have read the whole verse before jumping to conclusions…here it is in its entirety, “Go, and marry an unfaithful woman and have unfaithful children, because the people in this country have been completely unfaithful to the Lord.”
God Is basically telling Hosea that his marriage to this harlot is a picture of Israel’s relationship with Him. The nation had left their love for the Lord and ran after other gods. They, as a nation, had prostituted themselves out to idols and their own lust’s of the flesh. What a sad picture. I, as a husband, don’t even like to fancy the thought of my wife running off to whoredom. The thought of it rolls my insides…and I am a sinful person myself. Imagine how God feels when His bride runs off to toy in adultery.
Do you know that the Bible refers to the Church as Christ’s bride? That is a pretty sobering thought. Do you realize that whenever we decide to follow our own passions of the flesh we, like Israel, are acting like prostitutes in our relationship with the Lord. Yeah, I know…kind of a kill joy huh. Every time we choose to act on our passions and sin we play the harlot. What a bummer…I guess I never really looked at myself in that way.
Do you realize that despite our wayward ways, our God remains faithful…do you realize that Hosea went after Gomer (his unfaithful wife) and took her back home to live with him despite her harlotry. Again, that is a picture of Christ’s faithfulness to us. I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad that Christ remains faithful even when I don’t.
So, have you been a little promiscuous? Hosea tells us how we can fix the problem. Listen to what he writes in chapter 14, “Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, ….And in verse 4 God says, “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.”
What a faithful and loving God we serve.