A Marriage Inspired by God’s

February is the month that holds Valentine’s Day, a holiday that might be particularly sweet, or especially painful, depending on the current state of your marriage. This year, the general sense of romance in the air tied to the holiday brought my mind back to the love story of Hosea.
If you’re unfamiliar, Hosea’s story is both radically romantic and tragically awful at the same time. God instructs Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer and love her dearly as his bride. Over time they have a few kids, but the impression we get from Hosea 2 is that even during those family growth years, Gomer remained perpetually unfaithful. Eventually, Gomer leaves Hosea altogether for the arms of another lover. Despite all this, God instructs Hosea in chapter 3 to go and redeem his wife. He wants Hosea to bring Gomer back and love her. It’s romantic and terrible, all at once.

There’s a bigger point though: Hosea’s marriage to Gomer illustrates for us the marriage of God to His people. Israel had been terribly unfaithful, and not due to anything God had done – He’d shown them nothing but love and kindness. Still, they turned away from Him. But He would not turn from them. He would redeem them; His love would not fail.

I want to highlight just a few things this story teaches us about God, particularly from the following passage, where God addresses His unfaithful people with compassion.
Hosea 2:16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’…18b I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. 

Delighted to Call Us His Spouse

Despite knowing all the faults and failures of Israel, despite her utter betrayal, God does not turn away from her. Instead, He ties Himself to His people in marriage – the closest social relationship anyone can have. He says, “You will call me my husband…no longer my Baal.”
He didn’t want to be just a God to Israel. He wanted to be her Husband. That’s the association He wanted.
Do you remember how, in the early days of your marriage, you found such joy in introducing your spouse to people? You got to say, “She’s my wife.” “He’s my husband.” The joy we found in that is like the joy of God in referring to us as His Bride. In light of our unfaithfulness, that is an incredible truth!

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