Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.”
-Hosea 3:1 (NLT)
In one of the more bizarre stories of the Bible, the prophet Hosea is told by God to marry a prostitute. Yes, you read that correctly — a prostitute. And her name? Gomer. You can’t make this stuff up! True to her form, this adulterous woman eventually leaves Hosea for another man. You would think that the stress and embarrassment Hosea had suffered would be enough. But no, God tells him to go get Gomer back and love her again anyway. Wow.
As crazy as it sounds, there was a method to God’s madness here. The relationship between Hosea and Gomer was serving as an illustration of the relationship between God and the Israelites. You see, they had become wrapped up in idolatry. Like Hosea, God had been loyal. Unfortunately, like Gomer, the Isrealites had not reciprocated that faithfulness back. But astonishingly, after all they’ve done, God still loves them.
Take a moment and ask yourself this… If you you knew beforehand that your spouse was going to cheat on you, would you still want to marry them? No way! You wouldn’t want to see them, meet them, talk to them, or probably even know their name. You wouldn’t want anything to do with them!
Hosea knew ahead of time that Gomer was going to be unfaithful to him. And in the same way, God knew that we, his people, were going to be unfaithful as well. He knew we were going to put other things ahead of him. He knew that we were going to worship other idols. But God still chose to love us and want to be in a relationship with us anyway. God’s love for us is beyond comprehension!
Just like he did for the Israelites through Hosea, God continues to send us a message of his incredible love. Day after day, he is whispering to us…
I have always loved you, I still love you, and I will always love you. Yes, even you and your sin-filled past. I don’t care what you’ve done or where you’ve been… Nothing can make me stop loving you.
I will always love you.