I will commit myself to you forever … in steadfast love and tender compassion. (Hosea 2:19)
The prophet Hosea used the heart-rending story of his marriage to an unfaithful wife as a moving object lesson of the pain which God felt when his people Israel rejected his love. Rather than worshipping the true God, who had brought them out of slavery in Egypt, the nation had reverted to worshipping idols to such an extent that God was compelled to use the words of the divorce formula and say to them “you are not my people.”
Yet remarkably, when Hosea’s wife left him for another man, God’s command to the prophet was for him love his wife again. he was to take her back to his home – that by doing so he might illustrate the grace and unending love of God toward his erring people – the relationship was to be restored!
In the midst of serious warnings for the unrepentant, the book of Hosea offers hope. No matter how far a relationship may have broken down, there is none which cannot be restored. In particular, our relationship with God can be renewed by his forgiveness and grace.