What better time to talk about love and marriage than Valentines? All throughout the month of February, Dirt Road Believer YouTube has been highlighting the greatest love stories of the Bible. Couples like Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebekah, David and Abigail, Boaz and Ruth and many more top the charts of romance in God’s Word. There is one love story though that tells of a love that not many marriages experience.
Marriage is the one relationship that most closely mirrors our relationship with the Lord. It is a covenant relationship that requires faithfulness, intimacy, forgiveness and trust. It is through the marriage relationship that spouses are daily given opportunities to develop Godly character. Marriage has the ability to test and try us in a way that is unique to any other relationship. It is in those trying times especially that God wants to mold and refine us to be more like him.
The book of Hosea is about a marriage that is often misunderstood. Hosea was a prophet and in Hosea chapter one, it says that the first words God spoke to Hosea were, “go and marry a woman of promiscuity”. Wait! God chooses a prophet and then commands him to marry a harlot and have children with her? Yes. God used Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, the woman of promiscuity, as a physical and very literal example of Israel’s unfaithfulness to him.
Hosea in the marriage represents God and Gomer represents Israel. Israel had chased after other gods and idols and God’s heart was broken. Just as in marriage, God was jealous for his people’s love. If you are married, you don’t want partial faithfulness while your spouse chases after other interests. You want complete faithfulness and so does God.
Gomer gave Hosea three children and continued to be unfaithful. She would leave him with the children while she ran into the arms of other lovers. And each time, Hosea would take her back. God commanded Hosea to take her back home to teach the people of Israel that this is how they have behaved towards him and each time, he accepts them back.
Hosea is a difficult book to read because we can all identify with how Hosea must have been feeling when his wife was unfaithful. But can you identify with God and how he must feel when we are unfaithful to him? Though we are unfaithful, God is faithful. He accepts us back and loves us still.
This may not be the romantic love story you were hoping for this Valentine’s Day, but it is the most powerful expression of love I can fathom. A loving God who is faithful even when we are not. And though we may turn away from fulltime commitment that a relationship with him requires, the Lord forgives and accepts us back. Although we break his heart, he loves enough not to withhold his love from us.
Hosea was obedient in his marriage to Gomer, and he allowed his marriage to glorify God. God can use your marriage to teach those around you about a relationship with the Lord. Does your marriage resemble your covenant with the Lord? It is a covenant based on faithfulness and fidelity that cannot be broken.