Text: Hosea 14:1-9, Isaiah 61:1-4, Psalm 52:1-9
I try to buy love.
I have never felt loved freely, so I attempt to earn it somehow instead. I’m a slave to affection, to being loved, to gaining approval. I am an apostate, abandoning my faith and refusing to believe the gospel’s fullness for my life and heart. I buy my way into the affections of others by being winsome, being faithful, being silent, being whatever they need in that moment.
I make a mockery of it—of the extravagant act of mercy the Son of God made on my behalf—every time I go on sinning so that grace may abound (Romans 6:1). I play hard to get, while at the same time longing to be caught in His infinite love and grace. I know the Truth in my head and struggle to wrestle it into my heart.
Like Gomer, what I fail to see is I am already caught. I’m already the bride of the King of the universe, and I bear His name (Isaiah 54:5). I twist myself to repent of my apostasy, yet God says He alone will heal it (Hosea 14:4). He doesn’t just undo my sin; He heals it because I cannot.
He loves us freely, without cost, without money:
“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.”
- Isaiah 55:1-2
God’s love is wholly distinct and different from ours. God is love, while Hosea can only give love. Love is who God is (1 John 4:8). He cannot help but love fully, without cost to those He loves, save one: His Son.
There is nothing that can be done to earn God’s love; this is the primary message of the book of Hosea. In the face of adultery, abandonment, idolatry, deceitfulness—His love remains, without cost, without money. He remains and He loves us freely.
As you finish reading the book of Hosea, the illustration of God’s extravagant love and our constant rebellion, lift up your eyes from your sin. See your God, your Maker, your Groom in the fullness of who He is and what He has done. Stop twisting yourself to win His affection, and stop trying to heal your own rebellious heart. He has already chosen you—yes, you—to be His bride.
Be His bride. Be healed. Be loved, Beloved.
“I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good.”
Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.