God promises that one day He will restore Israel and make her holy. “I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice…and you shall know the Lord.” To illustrate this, the Lord tells Hosea to go and buy back his cheating wife, Gomer. “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery…just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisins cakes of the pagans.”
Taking back the cheating wife will be hard and humiliating for Hosea but he is able to obey the Lord for 2 reasons:
1) Hosea loves his relationship with God higher than any other earthly relationship.
2) Hosea knows that it isn’t all about Hosea and that the Lord is doing something way bigger here.
God is using Hosea’s life to warn Israel, His bride, and to further reveal Himself to us by illustrating His love for His people, His grief over their unfaithfulness, and His relentless pursuit of them.
The Lord goes on to basically bring a legal dispute against Israel because they did not live up to their end of the covenant with Him. He points out their sins and says they do not turn back to Him because they “…do not know the Lord.” He rebukes Israel for going to the Assyrians for help and says of the Assyrians, “Yet he cannot cure you, nor heal you of your wounds.” Hosea calls the people to repent and turn from their religious and political rebellion back to the One who can heal and restore them. “Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bond us up.” Then Hosea prophesies of the coming Savior who will die for us and rise 3 days later so that anyone who puts their trust in Him will be cleansed and restored to the Lord. “After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”
You know how it is hard to empathize with someone unless you have a similar experience. That’s what is going on here with God asking Hosea to buy back his cheating wife, Gomer. It’s an illustration of the current situation with the Lord and Israel but it is also an illustration of a future event. Something similar will happen with God and Jesus later in the Story. God will buy us, His undeserving people who are dead in sin, back at the cost of His Son. Jesus will be betrayed, denied, humiliated, mocked, stripped naked, beaten, spat upon, tempted, slandered, hung on a cross and murdered. He will experience everything we will ever experience in this world and then some, so that we know we have a God we can run to during our trails for comfort.
Tomorrow we hear the last from Hosea so keep reading.