Read Hosea 3
Hosea’s Reconciliation With His Wife
3 The 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.”
2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”
4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
This chapter of Hosea is short but packed with beautiful truth. Look beyond the words in these verses and see the greater story of God’s love for all of us. His character is powerfully on display here.
The chapter opens with a personal directive from God for Hosea to go and show his love for his wife again, even though she is caught in a life of adultery. While the case of adultery would permit Hosea to divorce his wife, God is asking for him to do something radically different. Illustrating the Lord’s love for Israel though they too have been an adulterous people. Hosea then goes, buys her back and brings her home to stay with him. He isn’t casting her aside amid her sin but paying a price to restore a relationship with her.
This act is a perfect depiction of God’s love for us. Romans 5:8 states that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He doesn’t ask us to come to Him clean and perfect. He rescues us in the midst of our mess. Not because we deserve it, but because that is how much He loves us! Christ was the payment for us, so we could have a relationship with God. It’s simple and yet radical. It’s incomprehensible yet true.
The chapter ends with a focus on the restoration of Israel. Their idolatry will result in a long period of separation both politically and spiritually. This ruin will cause them to return to the Lord. When we find ourselves in similar ruin or desperation, God welcomes us to return to Him. We are an adulterous people. Our lives when examined often display things that we have put before God. Career, family, comfort, fun, money, pleasure, and any number of our own selfish desires. God is calling us back to him. If we confess to Him, He will cleanse us (1 John 1:9). As with Israel, there may still be earthly consequences to face, but Christ is where we find life. John 1:4 says, “in Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
That is what radical love looks like. God sees us in our sin and makes a way for us to experience life! For those that believe, it should shake and transform us. May we go forth and display the same radical love and forgiveness.
- What does this chapter teach you about the nature of God? Does it change your view of Him?
- Does your life reflect the transformative love we see in Hosea 3?
- Is there anyone you need to show God’s radical love and forgiveness to?
Did You Know?
In Hosea 3:2, we see him pay 15 shekels of silver and around 9 bushels of barley for his wife. This is equivalent to half the price of a dead slave and food for cattle. It appears that whoever she was with didn’t even regard her as being worth very much. Hosea depicts the Lord’s love being so much greater than the love we look for in the world.
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