“Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man.” Hosea was living out a painful parable. He was to be a husband to unfaithful Gomer, “even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods.” Gomer found herself enslaved, so Hosea needed to buy her back “for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.”
If Hosea were to have a true relationship with Gomer, she could not continue to seek out other men. The “children of Israel” would also have to learn to be committed to Yahweh. They would “dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods.”
Some of the losses mentioned by the Lord were once part of His appointed system of Old Testament government and worship. Others were connected to false rituals that had never been approved by the Almighty. Either way, Israel needed to find the true Jehovah and not place their hopes in mere religious ritual.
The era eventually came when the old ways of devotion were gone. This happened when the Messiah inaugurated the New Testament pattern of Word, sacrament, and prayer. Hosea had prophesied that Israel would “return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king.” At just the right time “in the latter days” the Jews will “come in fear to the Lord and to His goodness.”
While the world has already seen an amazing fulfillment of these words, we look for more of “Israel” to believe that they have been bought back from bondage, not by money or food, but through the blood of a husband who will abide with them forever. The former ways of approaching God through bulls and goats have been gone for many centuries. A better offering has been presented in the heavenly sanctuary for the full atonement of the elect.
Christ now calls all of God’s children to Spirit-empowered holiness that can only come from above. It is our privilege to have true communion with our eternal Father. By God’s kind grace we are being made to follow the great I-AM in faith and obedience.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, You have given us new hope in Christ. Your faithfulness is perfect. You found us on the rubbish heap of rebellion, and You redeemed us with an extravagant love. We must never turn away from You. We will seek the glory of Your Son forever.