Do you still remember the sights and sounds of your wedding day? Those days and nights of preparation culminate with those long awaited words, “I now pronounce you man and wife… you may kiss the bride.” I myself remember that day when I took Anna as my wife, especially during this past week when for the first time, I showed my daughter the fairy tale, Cinderella.
Unlike Cinderella, a life of “living happily ever after” does not come with marriage. As trials and difficulties are a reality of life, we commit to loving our spouse– for better or for worse. Nevertheless, most of us expect happiness. If we were told for certain that our marriage will be a disaster, I believe we would either not marry or proceed in disbelief.
In the book of Hosea, the Lord God commanded Hosea to marry Gomer. So far so good (at least Hosea knew exactly whom he was to marry)–right? The problem was–Hosea was told by God prior to marriage that Gomer will be unfaithful to him. Remarkably, despite this knowledge, Hosea obeyed the Lord. He and Gomer had three children, each of whom was given a unique name to illustrate the heart’s condition of the nation of Israel (Hosea 1:2-8). Indeed, the marriage of Gomer to Hosea was to show the unfaithfulness of Israel to God who is loving, gracious and faithful.
As a righteous and covenant-keeping God, the Lord declares His case against Israel’s sin of idolatry. Israel was guilty of embracing the gods of neighboring nations while they purported to worship the Lord (Hosea 2:7). God, therefore, pronounced His indictment against the priests, the leaders and the people. All were guilty of false worship (Hosea 4-11).
In spite of Israel’s guilt, God gives His people a future hope of restoration (Hosea 12-14). The book of Hosea reveals two important truths about God: (1) that He desires and demands exclusive devotion from His people (Hosea 6:6) and (2) that His love for His people is steadfast. Amazing indeed is God’s faithfulness! Consider the truths expressed in this hymn:
“The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
If the words of this hymn does not resound in your heart, why not read and study God’s Word? Read “The Story” on our website or go through “Bible 101” online via Goodseed.com. If you live in our local area, contact us and we would be glad to have a Bible study with you!