He Is Faithful
Written By Pastor Patrick VandenBos
“Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the harlot, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” Hosea 3:1-3
If you ever wonder if God loves you… If you ever wonder if God can still forgive you… look to Hosea. In Tuesday noon class, we are going over the minor prophets. We just finished Joel and are now stuck between Chapters 1 and 2 of Hosea for the Christmas break.
Hosea is a perfect example of Law and Gospel. This is the picture God gives us in Hosea: He loves an adulterous woman (Israel). The Israelites keep wandering away to other lovers (gods), God’s anger burns against them. He tells them what they have done and what they deserve (the Law). Just when you think there is no hope for Israel, a flip is switched. God relents of His anger and calls out to His wife to restore the relationship (the Gospel). Chapter 2:14-16a puts it this way, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband…’”
Chapter 3 (verses listed at the top) shows how the relationship is brought back together again. The adulterous woman is sought out, purchased, brought back, and the wedding vows are restated: Be faithful to me, I will be faithful to you.
This is an amazing proclamation of a Biblical way to see our lives. We seek “raisin cakes” over God. Our adulterous hearts are constantly desiring ungodly things. We hear that we are not good enough, our sins are piled up, just when we think there is no hope… God flips a switch and gives us the Gospel. He speaks tenderly to us. He calls us back to Himself. He purchases us, not with silver or gold, or a lethech of barley, but with His precious blood. He tells us, “Be faithful to me… I will be faithful to you!”
God is a faithful husband to His chosen bride – the church. It is hard to see Hosea (the prophet of God) or God Himself, choose an adulterous woman for His bride. They deserve better. That’s the law – we are the adulterous bride, bit our inabilities amplify God’s great love and mercy towards us. God says, “I will remain faithful to you!” That’s the Gospel. He seeks us, purchases us, restores our relationship, and then says to us, “remain faithful to me.”
Christmas reminds us that God did come, that He did seek us out, that He did purchase us… what do we do with that truth? Make this your New Year’s resolution: Remain faithful to God. When you fail, when you see your adulterous heart take action. Remind yourself that He will remain faithful to you. If you wonder if God loves you… If you wonder if God will forgive you… He will. Be faithful to Him.
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