Love Suffers Long
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.—I Corinthians 13:8 (ESV)
Being a prophet for God might sound like an awesome calling unless you are chosen by God to be a prophet like Hosea. Hosea was faithful to God and faithful to his wife Gomer, but Hosea’s wife wasn’t faithful to him. Hosea was concerned about reaching souls for God and Gomer was only concerned about picking up men. She was an adulterous woman who broke Hosea’s heart over and over. Eventually she walked out on Hosea. Today we would just say good riddance, but God told Hosea to go buy her back and bring her back home. She cost him shekels of silver. She had children that were not Hosea’s yet he continued to love and care for her. He did not understand why God had called him to take for himself such an unfaithful woman and would not allow him to let her go.
The Bible says Gomer was a harlot, addicted to unfaithfulness and adultery. And no matter what she refused to change her ways. Hosea’s heart was ripped apart by her cheating. Hosea’s marriage was not a happily-ever-after story it was a nightmare. The love he knew was not healing, lovely, comforting, or kind but brutal and breaking.
God used Hosea’s life and marriage to a harlot to demonstrate for Israel how they did him. God was the husband and the people were the adulterous wife. Cheating on God. Going after other gods. Flaunting their adultery in God’s face. Not caring about God’s pain or response. Even after God multiplied them, delivered them, and blessed them they could not find it in their heart to be faithful to God.
Hosea was broken by his marriage, wounded in his soul, and crushed in his heart, but God continued to be with him. The man or woman who loves according to God’s commands and is faithful to God regardless may not be spared heartbreak. He or she may end up enduring pain and sorrow, but they will be covered and surrounded by God. God will heal their wounds and make them strong to stand. In the eyes of the world, they may seem weak or losers but to God they are his faithful people. His chosen servant that he will surely bless. They may suffer long but in the end their reward will be great.
Hosea’s marriage did not have fairy tale ending, but through that stormy marriage God demonstrated his faithfulness and love to an unfaithful people as he continues to do today.
Lord, adultery is not limited to the marriage but can include the way we are in relationship with you. Help us to be people who are faithful and loyal in marriage and in our relationship with you. Amen
God has Hosea deal with his unfaithful wife in a different way than we might be inclined today. Can you see what God was doing through Hosea?
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