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A Wonderful Picture of God's Love (Ps T L Mukumba) 10-June-2020

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

A Wonderful Picture of God's Love (Hosea Chapter 1-3)

This is a story you can read with tears on your eyes in the book Hosea (Chapter 1-3). How God demonstrates his love towards us? Halleluyah!!! He loves me so He died for me on Calvary because He loves me so deeply and emotionally. Oh Lord Jesus I love you.

Hosea was a man who experienced the depth of God’s love and the bitterness of betrayal. He lived at a time where murder and robbery were rampant; the poor were mistreated and corruption was encouraged. In the midst of all of this, God appeared to Hosea and told Him to marry Gomer. Hosea did as he was asked and took Gomer as his wife, took care of her, protected her and loved her. Likewise, the Lord has used marriage as a way to describe His relationship with His people. Whenever Israel was disobedient and did not adhere to the Lord’s covenant it was like they were committing adultery against Him. In the analogy of a marriage between a man and a woman, God expressed what His chosen people were doing wrong, but would also express how it made Him feel whenever they were disobedient and would go after false gods. God felt like the husband who loves his wife, but his wife was being unfaithful to Him, prostituting herself with other men. In Ezekiel 16 the Lord describes His relationship with Judah as being a loving husband who washed her, clothed her, fed her, made her beautiful and made her royalty, but that Judah trusted in her beauty so much she started defiling their marriage relationship by fooling around with other men. In spite of this, the Lord God assured them that He still loved her (his chosen people) and that He would forgive her and redeem her if she would turn away from her idolatry and repent. The message of Hosea is the same message that the Lord had for His people in Ezekiel, except Hosea lived through and felt what the Lord had gone through multiple times with His people. Hosea is one of the greatest lovers in all literature. It is a story of what the Bible is all about. His love was so strong as is the love of the Lord for His chosen ones, that even the worst betrayal of unfaithfulness from his wife could not end it. Hosea’s love for His wife was a sign used by God to His people of how they remained the object of Jehovah’s love in spite of their continuous sins and infidelities. This was a sign for His people and it is a sign to us now of Christ’s redeeming grace. Grace which means unmerited favour is exactly how God loves us. When we do not deserve His forgiveness, His mercy, His provision, His protection, His love, He gave it to us. We love Him because He loved us first. When we however, defile the sanctity of our union and relationship with Christ by going after false idols and a life of selfish sin, we eventually like Hosea’s wife become slaves to our sin. What first seemed like freedom, soon becomes a heavy burden. The burden and shackles of sin weigh us down and rob us of our greatest blessing, freedom and peace in Christ Jesus. And time and time again our loving Saviour waits for us with open arms, ready to receive us, forgive us and cleanse us. It is important to know not to take this greatest of love for granted because we will pay a terrible price on the day of judgement and what could have been the most extraordinary of love stories between Christ and His church will come to a tragic end. Tragic for the disobedient.

When God told Hosea to marry a prostitute this was a strange thing, but he wanted to demonstrate His love toward us. Hosea was amazingly told to marry woman of little worthy, a woman of low morals, a prostitute named Gomer. What is much fascinating is the unconditional and true love that Hosea had for his wife Gomer? This love story shows the unmerited and unconditional love of God toward us. We see God’s grace towards us in this story. His redeeming grace. God has not chosen the righteous but sinners. (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s favor, comfort and all were Gomer’s. All that Hosea had he gave to Gomer. Lured by sin Gomer ran away from home and left her husband Hosea with two young sons and a daughter for care and she was finally carried off as a slave. Through it all Hosea still follow her, and he tried every to win her back, but she would not return home. What a sad story of a person’s stubbornness. What a picture of God’s love towards us.

What an amazing story of love is exemplified in the love of Hosea. Hosea is one of the greatest lovers in all literature just like our God. God’s love never ends. His love was so strong that even the worst actions of an unfaithful wife could not kill it. Hosea was gentle, frank and affectionate. Although Hosea have been wronged, he take his promiscuous wife back who has been engaged in prostitution. When you read story tears will flow over your eyes because you will God love towards us even if we are a unfaithful in all things to Him. Although God had been wronged, he takes back Israel and exhibit this merciful and extravagant love pictorial by commanding Hosea to take back his unfaithful and troublesome wife. Paul says in (1 Corinthians 10:11) “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

God promises that war will be eradicated and that he will be reunited with his people in justice and compassion (Hosea 2v18-20). The love of God is active, seeking and self-giving. It is totally unrelated to either the merit or the response of those he loves. The most significant feature in the statement that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3v16) is not that God loved, but that he loved so comprehensively. In the Old testament the love of God is shown in his choice of Israel to be his own people and his deliverance of them from the Egyptian bondage. For his choosing Israel there is no explanation given outside God’s love. “it was because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; but it is because the Lord loves you” (Duet 7v7-8). It is evident that the love of God was not based on any merit-worthiness in Israel.

The love of God is deniable but how sometimes we disappoint Him, but He keeps searching for our hearts. Trying to transform all the time with His love. May the Lord help us and open our eyes to see this love. Gomer was woman of low morals just like the church today. Hosea ultimately divorced her and married another woman (Hosea 3:1). It's easy to lose sight of the main message that God wanted to bring across. God loved His people and wanted them to return that love to Him. They were committing evil by worshipping idols, just like a woman who is unfaithful to her husband. What is much touch is that God did not come for the perfect? He instructs Hosea to go and marry a prostitute. But when the prostitute is married, she should repent and return the love she is and has been experiencing. Paul quoted Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 in Romans 9:25-26 to prove that the salvation of the Gentiles was always God's plan. He applied "not my people" to the Gentiles as he did in Ephesians 2:11-22. In the early church, some of the more legalistic believers thought that Gentiles had to first become Jews before they could be Christians (Acts 10:11-15), but Paul defended the gospel of the grace of God and proved that both Jews and Gentiles are saved by grace through repentance and faith in Christ. God looked upon His covenant relationship with His people as a marriage, and He saw idolatry as marital unfaithfulness

The statement ‘God is love’ (1 John 4v8,16) is of unique significance. It forms the most majestic description of the qualitative nature of God and it stands unparalleled in all religious literature of the world. Divine love is that impelling and dynamic quality in which God moves out of himself and in which he relates in all his beneficence and sufficiency to his creation. The love of God is that perfection of the divine nature by which God is eternally moved to communicate himself.

In the New Testament this love of God that is not based on anything of merit is further heightened and intensified in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the embodiment of the love of God. The depth and splendor of God’s love was displayed inn the cross of Christ. The greatness of the love of Christ cannot just be measured only by the willingness of Jesus to die for his friends (John 13v1, 15v3). It is the unfathomable fact that the Holy one of God died for the undeserving sinners. The full dimensions of that love can be appreciated only in the knowledge that in his death for sinners he was vicariously bearing the total weight of their punishment. It is apparent then that the content of the affirmation that God is love can be apprehended only in the light of this final revelation in the cross of Christ. Closely linked to God’s love is the aspect of grace. God’s grace denotes essential feature of God’s love. When applied to God, the word grace means the favor of God towards those who do not deserve his favor.

God’s mercy and compassion is shown in the goodness of God shown to those who are in misery or distress. The mercy of God lies in his readiness to an event share in sympathy, a readiness which springs forth from his inmost nature and stamps all his being and doing. In the bible God reveals himself as one who has compassion for the weak and the poor, the destitute and the down trodden. This aptly illustrated in the way prophet Ezekiel portrays Israel as a despised little foundling thrown out, discarded with no one nearby who had compassion enough to cut its cord and wash it clean. Yahweh how ever came along and said, “I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood, I said to you: Live” (Ezekiel 16:3-16)

The Exodus event further sows that Yahweh has compassion on the unworthy. To Israel he declares. “I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of slavery” (Exodus 20v2). The generations of Israel came to accept this as a tenet of the confession of their faith.

You are the beloved of God; Romans 9:25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.

In the New testament the same compassion is expressed by Jesus in different dimension: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd” Matthew 9v36). Jesus was stirred by the same compassion When he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying: “Would that even today you know the things that make for peace! But now they were hid from eyes” (Lk 19v42).

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