Summary: What truly is love? How do I give and receive love? What do I do when I am betrayed? Today we are going to see what is true love based on the book of Hosea.
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Everyone needs love, acceptance, and companionship and people go great extent searching for them. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day; people expressed their love in various ways. Many people waited for this day to propose to their lover. I love you is the most misused and misunderstood sentence in English vocabulary.
The Book of Hosea is a spiritual Valentine Card from our God that can be applied to all our relationships. This whole story is set in history around 740 BC. Hosea was the only prophet who came from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, contemporary of Isaiah the prophet.
Hosea 1:2 When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife.”
God intended to use the prophet’s personal life as an object lesson to show His for love for Israel and us today. God’s love for us is like his bride. Hosea 2:19, Rev. 21:6
Hosea married Gomer as per God’s advice and things went on fine for some time. They had a son. After the first child was born things got bad for this family. She become unfaithful to Hosea and illegitimate children are born. I think maybe this is the only legitimate child.
For the first child it is said: Hosea 1:3b She conceived and bore him a son.
For the second child it is said: Hosea 1:6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”). No Mercy.
Gomer become more and more absent from home. She is not coming back from work on time. Neighbours are talking about it. Gomer conceived again, it was a boy this time. Hosea 1:8-9 8After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.
The strain of this relationship was all out in the open now. Everyone knew about Gomer’s affairs. She ran off with her lovers because they promised to lavish material things on her. Hosea would plead and Gomer would return for some time, Hosea would take her back in forgiveness, but her repentance is short-lived and soon she would be off again with another new lover.
Then came the final blow in their marriage. Maybe it was a note, maybe word sent by a friend, or a direct confrontation. Gomer said, “I’m leaving this time for good. I’ve found my true love. I’ll never come back to you again.” How Hosea must have suffered!
Gomer is gone for long now. Hosea is a single parent, a minister, and leading life alone. It is at this time that God’s word comes to Hosea in chapter 3. Hosea 3:1 The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again.
By now, Gomer has hit bottom. She has gone from the world of adultery into the living hell of prostitution. She has been trafficked and used by her handlers and sold for money.
Hosea has every legal and moral right to divorce her, and, under God’s law, to have her killed. But God is asking Hosea to show love: Hosea 3:1-2 1The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
In love, Hosea following God’s instructions goes to the slave market, purchases Gomer with whom he exchanged wedding vows, takes her home, and says to her, “I love you, I will be for you.”
I am certain that Hosea didn’t “feel” much affection for Gomer at that moment. How could he? She had wrecked his home, publicly shamed him, and humiliated him. Yet, in obedience to the Lord he was able to love her.
Terms of God’s command to Hosea.
Hosea, after the manner of God, said that a relationship was still possible, not on the terms of her character, but on the terms of his commitment, the promise, the marriage wow. To understand this kind of love, we must look to its source – God. God loved us when were yet sinners. God demonstrated His love for us through Calvary. He didn’t wait until we came crawling back to Him before He reached out to us. Instead, He came “to seek and to save that which was lost.” God’s love had nothing to do with feelings, but with a promise made to a broken, fallen couple in the Garden of Eden – a promise of redemption.
Love is a promise, not a passion. Marriage is not about “being in love,” but agreeing to love. It is not something we feel, but something we do no matter how we feel.