Intimacy – Hosea 2:14-23
That God is powerful goes without question. We look up at the stars, realizing the light we see was emitted lifetimes ago and has only now reached us. Nature’s proclamations faithfully give perspective to God’s power. We rightly conclude this God deserves honor and we respond, “Oh Lord, we worship You in Your power and might!” However, Hosea is revealing something at least as astonishing as God’s power, that is his heart.
God requires the prophet Hosea to wed Gomer, a prostitute, to graphically depict how his mysterious heart works. This woman is habitually unfaithful and deluded, believing her material needs are being provided by her many lovers. No doubt Hosea wept as he watched his wife sell her body to men who cared nothing about her. Hosea deserved fidelity but received only betrayal. All he could do was dream of the day when she would return to him. While she deserved to be stoned, he is dreaming of her redemption. Welcome to God’s heart.
As God dreams and projects His will, he anticipates a day when his beloved Israel will be brought into a wilderness where he will woo her with gracious words and gifts, even restoring the vitality of her youth. Most importantly her heart will somehow be changed and she will speak the names of her lovers no more. It seems the event of her restoration will be so glorious that God will initiate a new covenant which occasions blessing to spill over into nature and society.
We see married couples commonly restating their vows after years of marriage. It seems something similar is going to occur between God and Israel. In this long awaited ceremony God will betroth His Bride to Himself in righteousness, justice, compassion, lovingkindness and perhaps most importantly to the spurned Lover – faithfulness. Finally … Faithfulness!
Verse 20 says then Israel will know the Lord.
As God enjoys renewed intimacy with his beloved it appears creation will enjoy the gift of its own restoration. The scriptures say God will respond differently to the heavens, and in turn the heavens will respond differently to the earth, resulting in unprecedented fertility. My mind is drawn to the New Testament where Paul, in three places, expresses it this way….
God has ….. a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of times, that is the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. (Eph 1:10)
Through Jesus God will reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross…whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Col 1:20)
Creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Rom 8:21)
Father, I’m sorry you have to use a prostitute to describe your beloved. I’m sorry that my heart has been untrue and even today has been unfaithful. And…. at the same time, I am profoundly grateful I have been grafted into your great heart. My own heart is both bowed low and lifted up, knowing even in the depths of my sin your love is constant. How stunning that even in my betrayal you woo me! In my wildernesses, many which I have created, you have spoken kindly to me and rescued me. May the faithfulness and consummation you desire transpire in my heart. Permit me to journey further into your heart where Your power and Your love merge – transforming all they touch. Amen.