Read Hosea 2
Focus on verse 7
Prostitution is possibly one of the world’s oldest vices. The selling of sex has been part of humanity for about as long as history has been recorded, and despite multiple attempts at making it an acceptable practice, it continues to carry a certain stigma that no cultural revolution has been able to change. Even in this current age of open promiscuity and sexual confusion aided by political correctness, the human conscience continues to defy the attempts of the social engineers to make it an acceptable practice.
In today’s reading Hosea addresses the nation of Israel with an analogy, essentially depicting Israel as an adulterous wife, selling herself to any and every other false god that comes along. Ignorantly offering the abundance of blessing that God, her faithful husband was providing, to these other lovers.
It is not a pretty picture, and it helps one understand the disappointment and frustration that God feels when His people act unfaithfully toward Him. What amazes me is that in the midst of this we continue to see God’s faithfulness to His promise to His people. Despite His disappointment, His discipline continues to be motivated by His desire to see His people repent and return to Him.
She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now. (v. 7)
God’s withholding of His blessing and protection on Israel is not so much driven by His anger as it is by His love – knowing that when the people realize that they have been deceived and used by the false gods they pursued, that they will return to the God of Abraham at which point He will speak kindly to them and restore them to Himself and to the land. (v. 16-23)
What strikes me about this is how consistent it is with God’s dealing in my own personal walk with Him. There have been too many times when I know that I have been unfaithful to Him, when I have failed miserably to act as a follower of Jesus ought to act, yet His faithfulness to me remains unchanged. There have been times when I have felt His discipline as He allowed me to bear the consequences of some of the choices I have made. There has also been many times when He has graciously protected me from the consequences of poor choices I have made.
What becomes the focal point as a result of this are God’s consistency, faithfulness and love, not just for me, but for all people. It seems He loves nothing more than to demonstrate His mercy to those who choose to receive it. There is no other God, no other religion, no other faith system that offers this kind of grace.