10/18 Hosea 3:3

3 And I said to her, "You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you."

During the decline and fall of Israel, God told Hosea to take a wife of whoredom. She bore him three children and then left to look for other lovers. Each one was successively poorer than the previous one. Hosea went and searched for her. He gave her lover the money to buy things she needed (Hosea 2:5, 8). She gave her lover the credit for those things, not knowing it was Hosea who had provided it. Her lover probably thought Hosea was a fool. Indeed, love does things that appear foolish. Imagine the pain in Hosea's heart as he caught a glimpse of her embracing her lover in gratitude for the gifts. Can you see God's heart weeping over us as we run after other loves and receive His gifts but then credit them to the world or our own abilities (James 4:4)?

Finally she was reduced to utter poverty and stood for sale on the slave block. Hosea bought her back. Now she must stay with him and do his bidding, but God had commanded Hosea to love her even as he was loved by God. Though she was bound by law to be faithful, Hosea declared, "So will I also be to you."

When we are reduced to shame by our sinful nature, God comes and redeems us. We would be blessed just to be a slave in His service. We are obligated to do whatever He asks in utter faithfulness, for we are purchased by His blood. The amazing thing that we find difficult to grasp is that He declares, "So will I also be to you."

Consider: This is the greatest love story ever told. It's about Jesus and you.