By Pastor Nikki Ragush
Love is one of the deepest desires of every human. For some people they seek to find love through a marriage, others have dreamt about being a parent their entire lives, some find acceptance and love through deeply knit friendship groups, and some dedicate their entire lives to singleness as to focus solely on God. A variety of these things can be melded together, and at points people may feel very loved yet also at points they may feel loneliness and emptiness. People always seem to try and explain love, never finding a solution that completely satisfies the meaning of the word. Scripture says “God is love”, but that still seems vague for those who want to completely grasp, understand, and then dissect this concept. God is one of the greatest ways we can understand love, but it sometimes seems to be complicated what it looks like.
Hosea is probably one of the prophets that sticks out the most in my mind because the story is odd. Most people think that as a prophet God would want you to have a solid base around you… but God goes against our expectations. We find out God’s first command to Hosea “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” (Hosea 1:2) The first thing God calls Hosea to do is to commit himself in marriage to someone who was unlikely to commit themselves back. I myself am not married however I know that when I commit to support someone there is an expectation they also will support me; whether in a friendship, a relationship, as a teammate, or as a co-worker. I remember many times in grade school being rather frustrated after a group assignment where I ended up doing more work than others, feeling like they didn’t care about me or my grades.
If we simply look at the situation we see Hosea in, we probably would see it being unfair and possibly a little ridiculous for God to ask this of Hosea. However, this imagery should mean something to us, because God’s reasoning for this is to prove a point… Hosea’s life became an object lesson to each one of us. We say “God loves us” but do we truly understand how deeply He feels this love and how unconditional it is. God knows these people don’t care about Him, He sees them worshipping other god’s even when He’s proved himself in the Bible time and time again.
In Chapter 3 we see God call Hosea to reconciliation with His wife, ““Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” (Hosea 3:1) God knows that He himself begs and pleads for His children to follow Him still knowing that some still are temptation and find something that may in the moment satisfy them.
God wants all of us. He doesn’t desire for us to have a couple hours on a Sunday, maybe ten minutes a day studying His word, or the quick prayer at meals when He is thanked for our food. I encourage you to read through this book and think that the God who made the entire universe desires to have all of your attention. We may not have the same idols, however sometimes it is obvious in our lives what we value most by the way we act, the way we speak, and where our time goes. God wants a full commitment to him, and He is ready to be fully committed to us but God allows us to make this crucial decision. The love of God is so beautiful in Hosea; it is unconditional, forgiving, understanding, and passionate.