I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. - Hosea 6:6
Oh, Hosea. Required to bind himself, body and heart, to a woman who would never be faithful. Expected to be a father to children who may or may not even be his own biologically.
To be able to bring this deeply personal message of betrayal to the sons and daughters, the bride, of the Lord Most High, Hosea had to know what it was to love someone who was very unfaithful.
For this to succeed as an object lesson, he had to really, truly love her. Hosea had to woo Gomer, desire her faithfulness deep down in his soul. He had to plead with her, accept her, and forgive her without ever hearing an apology, knowing that the next day may bring the same betrayal. Knowing that this never-ending love would produce righteous jealousy.
Hosea didn't just go out and find a prostitute to marry because that was what the Lord commanded. It wasn't a task he was given. It was a sentiment, a heartfelt desire that he was granted. And that deep and abiding love, as far as we know, was never returned. Not in the way that it was given. Not in the way that is intended. He was destined to be jealous.
As we read through this book which is basically Hosea's love for Gomer, parallelled with God's love for His people, we can see that this unrequited love covers the full range of emotions you would expect. Anger, betrayal, deep hurt, a turning away, a wooing to return, forgiveness, pleading for repentence. Jealous for a love that was not fully returned.
Never once do we see God, or Hosea, lose their love for their undeserving bride.
“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows."
- Hosea 11:8
In fact, that love culminated in the indescribable gift of God's own Son.
That's how jealous He is for our affections.
Hasn't He wooed us enough?
Oh, Lord, give me the desperation of Hosea. Let me never lose sight of the fact that You still love lost souls just as outrageously as You did in Hosea's day. Help me to chase after the unfaithful of today's world with just as much jealousy as You showed when you chased after me.
Desiring not empty tokens of affection. Caring not whether or not we outwardly wore Your ring for others to see.
Wanting the heart of the matter. Desiring our heart.
Wanting us to know you, not only serve you.
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. - 2 Corinthians 11:2
Let's Go Deeper:
1. What kind of unrequited longing do you face?
2. How does this affect your prayers?
2. Write here a verse that helps you to remember that God can relate to your personal heartache.
3. What is one thing you can do, today, to show someone empathy?
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May God Bless You,