Key Verses: Hosea 2:23
I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’
Hosea’s personal family life is a tragic reflection of God’s dysfunctional family, Israel. Hosea has a three-point message: (1) Sin brings great heartache to God. (2) Because of sin, the people bring inevitable judgment upon themselves. (3) In spite of Israel’s unfaithfulness and spiritual adultery, God’s love is constant.
By calling Israel (northern tribes) “not my people” (key verse), God dissolved His covenant with them. But He also promised to make them His people once again at some future time. Hosea 2:23 quotes God, “You are My people, and they shall say, You are my God!” Ethnic cleansing dispersed the 10 northern tribes all over the world. According to the Apostle Paul (Rabbi Saul of Tarsus), salvation has been achieved through Jesus Christ. Paul quotes Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:10 in Romans 9:23-26. We who believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord have been transferred from being “not His people,” to being “His people!” Hallelujah!!! God employs a variety of ways to bring us to Himself once again. He sends us anonymous gifts. He attracts us by “allure” (Hosea 2:14a). The dictionary says “allure” means, “the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.” Gomer, Hosea’s estranged spouse, ended up for sale on the auction block as a slave. Hosea paid the highest price for her, redeeming her and restoring her by his forgiveness and undying love. God loves us and has paid for us with the death of Jesus. Jesus said, “‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (John 12:32, 33).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I have a very real sense that You are drawing me into greater intimacy with Yourself. Your Word is as the earth’s magnetic force. The compass of Your Word points me to You. I pray that, as I’m consistent in getting to know You through what You say to me in my daily readings, I will be drawn closer and closer to You. Thank You that You loved me first and that, by Your grace, I love You and am committed to being faithful to You! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
While serving as a Pastor in the northern city of Sudbury, Ontario, I performed a wedding in August of 1964. A couple just showed up wanting to be married, and after a counselling session during which they both invited Jesus into their hearts, I joined them in holy matrimony. I may not have done a good job, because I heard that the bride’s parents convinced them to go to a priest and get him to perform another marriage ceremony. I lost touch with them, but approximately four years later, I was told that they had divorced. In the Fall of 1968 I noticed from the pulpit of the church that they began showing up separately at services. At different times they made their way to the altar, recommitting their lives to Jesus Christ. I married them for a second time in December of 1968. In fact, their two weddings were the first and the last weddings I performed in Sudbury. I’ve lost touch now, all these years later. I trust they are living happily ever after! As the story of Hosea and the love of his life, Gomer, illustrates, God is in the business of restoring lost love.
Yours for running into the outstretched arms of Jesus and being held in His nail-pierced hands,