On Tuesday night we took a look at Hosea: a minor prophet with a major message. This guy lived in the 8th century B.C. during a time when Israel had rather openly turned its back to God and was following whatever they thought would get them what the wanted. In spite of their infidelity, however, God loves them. So, He called on Hosea to deliver that message with his life. How? By marrying a woman he knew would cheat on him, and not just a one night stand, but someone who would run off chasing sugar daddies until she was so destitute she had to be bought back from slavery. This is a woman who wasn’t just a little unfaithful, she was a career harlot. And Hosea bought her back. Not only did he buy her back, he brought her home, took steps to correct her, and provided for her physical needs. He loved her in spite of herself.
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” Proverbs 26:11
It is a picture of our relationship with God. As Christ followers, we often say we love God, but how often do we chase pleasure, success and happiness in ways we know aren’t pleasing to Him? Hosea 3:1 says that Israel turned to other Gods and “loved raisin cakes.” Seriously? Raisin cakes? Yep. Israel thought the food was better at the other temple, so they went there to worship instead. Seems like a pretty weak reason to commit idolatry, but hey, maybe they were really good raisins. Meanwhile, we chase after fame, love, material success, with the same mindset.
And yet, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8)
So, what’s your raisin cake? And isn’t it great that even after you turn your back on God to get it, He’s still willing to take you back in with a heart of love, healing and forgiveness?
“I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily…” Hosea 14:4-5