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Love So Amazing, So Divine

Today’s reading: Hosea 1:1-5:15

My selection: Hosea 3:1

And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”

My reflections: What a poignant illustration the Lord uses to show the enormous sin of His people and the even greater vastness of His love and mercy. Israel is like an adulteress who has shamelessly betrayed her marriage vows! God is like a merciful and loving husband who seeks his unfaithful wife and actually pays her prostitution fees to get her back for a time.

Who would ever do such a thing, to show such blatant rebellion to a loving spouse? It describes the sin of Israel and Judah, but does it not also depict my sin as well? It does. Who would ever show such mercy in the face of such unfaithfulness? Hardly a human alive would do so, but God does it.

I think of Paul’s words in Romans 5:6-8:

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

My challenge: Even Hosea’s depiction of God’s mercy fails to reach the level of the salvation the believer has in Christ. Gomer sinned against her human, also sinful, husband, Hosea, but we sinned against a Holy God serving our idols whether literally or figuratively. Do you not see, more clearly, how despicable is your sin? Confess and turn from the sin in your heart today. Hosea paid money to buy back his adulteress wife, but Jesus Christ paid for the sin of His people with His life. Do you see how great is God’s love for you? If you are a believer, give Him your heartfelt praise and selfless service for His forgiveness shown to you in His Son. As Isaac Watts expressed it in his great hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”:

Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Tomorrow’s reading: Hosea 6:1-11:12

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