“Go, show your love…”

I had a long drive today – was in the car for about 8 hours. And of all things, I spent a lot of time recalling the story of Hosea. For some reason, this story wouldn’t let go of me.

Poor guy. He marries a woman he knows to be promiscuous. Over the years, she bears his children. He devotes himself to her. And what does she do? She goes to another man. Can you imagine the pain? To be wholly and totally devoted to a loving a woman, to pour all of yourself into her, only to have her respond by taking up a sexual relationship with another man.

Then God says to Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife.” But to do that, he must pay for her “services” as a prostitute. Apparently, he can only convince her to be with him – and then for a time – by “buying” her.

His own wife. 

He loves her. She is the mother of his children. But she is only interested in the money he has to offer, and he will accept even that.

Something about this parable – which, if you haven’t already guessed, is really a story about God’s love for his people – is gut-wrenching to me. Hosea is forced to put himself in the most humiliating, vulnerable position I can imagine. And he does it only so that he can come into the most superficial of relationships with the woman he loves.

The thought that God pursues us, loves us, desires us in this way – with so much passion and so much willingness to take any step, to do anything to bring us to him, to take whatever we’re willing to offer  – is almost too much to take in.

Can it really be that God pursues us in this way?

3 Responses to “Go, show your love…”

  1. nena says:

    The scripture says “For God SO LOVED the world that He GAVE His ONLY begotten SON.” ( Emphasis mine, of course).
    Also says, “Greater Love has no one that he who lays his life down for his brother.” Doesn’t get any greater than that, I guess.

  2. artlady says:

    I’ve been a lurker for a while but his was interesting. I recently read Hosea and felt so captivated by the character of God and how he chose to reveal himself to his people in this odd unusual way.
    What a word picture to ponder.

  3. curtis says:

    This is yet another passage in the Bible that seems to describe God’s character in a potentially more universalistic light than most Christians I know are comfortable with… it is SO interesting to me, and I want more than anything to get to the bottom of it…

    If this story is a direct correlation to the character of God, then it seems that God will stop at nothing to be (re)united with his lost bride, which, based on the time this story was written, is Israel. So, if we extend that story to today, in light of the New Testament which teaches us that there is no longer a distinction between Jews and Gentiles in God’s Kingdom… it seems to point to the fact that God us in pursuit of ALL people, regardless of what nationality/religion/etc. they might adhere to…

    Am I the only one that’s seeing these parallels? Tell me where I’m going wrong…

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