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God’s love is strong, unconditional – a love that we cannot understand or explain in human terms. It is absolutely and utterly beyond measure. The life of the Old Testament prophet, Hosea, powerfully illustrates this kind of love. Hosea was married to Gomer but Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea, betraying the covenant of marriage. Hosea had every right to walk away from Gomer and divorce her but supernatural love caused him to make supernatural choices that demanded supernatural action and sacrifice.
Hosea 3:2 says, “So I bought her for six ounces of silver and ten bushels of barley” (Twice the price of an average slave).
Think about it. Hosea was the one who had been wronged and humiliated. Yes, he was the one faithfully following the moral Commandments of God. He was the righteous one but he was also the one called to sacrifice. We oftentimes misunderstand the full meaning of sacrifice, thinking that it is only a decision to “give up” our self-centered rights, or give up our surplus of resources or give up a few of our nonessential freedoms. But true sacrifice is much more than these things. Sacrifice causes us to lay down all sense of human justice or fairness in order for God to work in and through us on behave of those who are sometimes unlovable and deserving of condemnation.
Gomer broke the covenant of marriage. Biblically, Hosea had every justification to divorce her. He could have tossed her out and turned her children against her, stripping her life of any discernible value. Hosea could have destroyed Gomer, and no one would have blamed him. Instead, God instructed Hosea to rise to a higher place and lay down his anger, hurt and his right to retaliate or seek revenge. God instructed Hosea to take the initiative and go to her and love her again.
Hosea had to swallow his pride and go to her in love and forgiveness. Now let me just tell you that if I had been the one going to find Gomer, I would have been more likely to snatch her up by the hair and drag her home in front of as many people as possible to prove she could not get away with what she was doing. Better yet, I would have said, “Good riddance. You can keep her! I don’t want her any more.” I am certain I could find many who would agree with my plan of punishment and revenge. It seems to me that Hosea stood to gain very little but lose a great deal by choosing to respond as he did. However, Hosea was called on by God to sacrifice everything to redeem a woman who did not deserve sacrifice or redemption. Jesus did the same thing for us when He died on the cross. He now calls us to respond with that same God-like heart and attitude of redemption.
God always seeks restoration and reconciliation and commands us to look for it as well. We are to look past what seems logical and seek the sublime.
1Then the Lord told me, “Love your wife again, even though she is loved by others and has committed adultery. Love her as I, the Lord, love the Israelites, even though they have turned to other gods and love to eat raisin cakes.” 2So I bought her for 23 ounces of silver and 10 bushels of barley. ~ Hosea 3:1-2 (GW)
Father, I pray to You in the only name that is above every name—YeHoWsHua HaMashiach* – The Anointed One From God – Jesus the Christ. Father, I am so tired of holding on to the pain in my life. I want to forgive those who have hurt me and learn how to let go of the pain and move on. Today, I lay down my pride and my rights. I will not seek revenge or retaliation. Instead, I choose to take the initiative and love my enemies and bless those who have harmed me. Please give me the strength and power to reflect Your love for me in my love toward others. Anoint me with thy Holy Spirit O God so that I may honor You as I step out in obedience to Your will and Your way. This is my prayer in the name of the LORD YeHoWsHua* (Jesus) the Christ, Amen