Text: Hosea 2:1-23, 2 Samuel 12:1-10
“For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.”
How familiar are you with the story of David?
He was the shepherd boy who was anointed king, defeated a giant with a stone and a sling, wrote the Psalms, and ruled wisely over Israel (along with a whole lot of shenanigans) until, in his old age, he passed the throne to his son Solomon. He was chosen by God and he messed up a lot, which got him into a lot of trouble.
One day, the prophet Nathan comes to David and tells him a story about a rich man with a lot of land and livestock and a neighboring poor man with one small sheep, which he treasured very much. Nathan tells King David that one day the rich man had a visitor and, not wanting to sacrifice one of his many sheep, he instructed a servant to go next door and require the one precious lamb of his poor neighbor.
David, upon hearing this story, objects heartily, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!” (2 Samuel 12:5, NIV). The prophet Nathan retorts, “You are the man,” and he proceeds to show David that taking another man’s wife (Bathsheba) and arranging to have him killed in battle made him very much like the guilty rich man.
You see, approaching David directly with his sin would have met Nathan with pride and plugged ears. But coming around the back door of his defenses allowed David to see objectively exactly what he had done and how he had been wrong.
And so it is with Hosea.
The sovereign Lord is calling the people of Israel to Himself. And, like David, they stand, ears plugged, unwilling or unable to see their own sin. So, God instructs Hosea to love and marry a woman that he knows will not be faithful to Him, to father 3 children with her (2 of whom are likely not his own), and to live out a painful, shameful, real-life allegory of Israel’s wild unfaithfulness to their Groom.
It’s a maddening story to read. It’s cyclical to a point of wanting to slam the book shut in irritation with Gomer’s unfaithfulness.
But before we shut the book on Gomer, Sisters, let’s allow this story around the back door of our own defenses. Before we condemn this unfaithful bride, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us ourselves as the unfaithful brides of Christ. And, let’s watch the prophet Hosea as he demonstrates the Lord’s unfailing love for us—even in His severe mercies—ever calling us to Himself for reconciliation and relationship.
Lord, show us our unfaithfulness.