Scripture: Hosea 3
Key verse: (3) “Go, love a woman who has a lover and is an adulteress, just as the LORD loves the people of Israel, . . .”
Reflection: The book of the prophet Hosea is a vivid book. It is famously known for the marriage of the prophet Hosea to an unfaithful wife. This union that God has called him to make offers a theological message about the unfaithfulness of Israel to God. Many commentators and scholars interpret this book as a metaphor or allegorical story about the relationship between the LORD and the people of Israel. Read this way, the powerful love of God is displayed. In spite of the way that people had turned away from God again and again, God still loved them. Forgiveness and compassion were still available. This God/Israel relationship described in a failed marriage has its limits and has been discussed at length in theological circles. However, one thing remains clear – God has made a covenant with us that can’t be broken. Even though human beings fail to be faithful, God does not. The LORD God called people in Hosea’s time to repent and turn back from their evil and self-destructive ways. The LORD continues to do this when we turn away to chase after idols and false gods. We can take comfort in knowing that in spite of our unfaithfulness God still loves us. Perhaps there is something in your life for which you need forgiveness. Perhaps you have turned away from God and are on a self-destructive path. You can find your way back. There is hope. We are God’s people. Confess your sins and you will be ready to proclaim “You are my God!” again.
Prayer: Faithful God, we give thanks that you love us and won’t let us go. Knowing this, help us turn away from all of the things that draw us away from you. Strengthen us as your people that we might walk in your way and be devoted to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].