Redemption for the Lost

And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.
Hosea 3:1–5
Redemption for the Lost
God tells Hosea to love Gomer despite her unfaithfulness. For most of us, this would be an impossible ask. How are we to love someone as unfaithful as her? This act vividly mirrors God’s faithfulness to an adulterous Israel. Yet that was not all, beyond the shame and emotional burden of his marriage to an adulteress, Hosea also had to pay a price for her. For her part, Gomer is expected to be exclusively devoted to Hosea, just as he will be to her. This relationship represents the one between the Lord and Israel. Though Israel will never cease to belong to the Lord, the fullness of their relationship will obviously not be enjoyed until after the return from the impending Assyrian exile. Such hardships will remind the exiles of their broken relationship with God. In obedience to the Lord’s request, Hosea redeems Gomer and renews his commitment to her, despite her unfaithfulness. Like Hosea, we are sometimes challenged to swallow our pride and forgive others in similar difficult ways. At times such as these, we are strengthened by the knowledge that God gave His own Son to forgive and restore us. In our sin, we play the role of the unfaithful spouse, yet God does not turn from us. Instead, He comes to us with forgiveness and redeems us from our fallen estate. And when we look to the cross, we see just how far He was willing to go to redeem His lost children.
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