Have you ever done something and then sworn to God and others that you’d never do that again – whatever that is? If you’re human, then the answer is yes.
We think thoughts that we shouldn’t think. We say things that we shouldn’t say. We do things that we shouldn’t do. We recognize we shouldn’t be thinking those things, doing those things, or saying those things. And we promise ourselves and God that we won’t think, say, or do those things ever again. And then we think those things, say those things and do those things again and again. We have good intentions. Nonetheless, we blow it on a regular basis. And we end up thinking there is no way God could ever love us.
We are in good company. This is the story of God’s people in the Old Testament. God rescues them from their troubles again and again, but they always end up back in a cesspool of their own making. It’s an ongoing cycle of failure, desperation, repentance, God’s mercy, complacency that leads to more failure and so on.
That’s where the prophet Hosea (and many other prophets) arrives on the scene. Hosea is called to a bit of a strange thing – to marry a prostitute who continues to be promiscuous after they are married.Because of Hosea’s faithful obedience we get to read about a story that parallels the same kind of love our heavenly Father shows us. Despite our best efforts to turn away, disobey, and prostitute ourselves to other gods, He continues to call us back and love us unconditionally.
In Hosea, we see how God loves His people even though they turn away from Him over and over again. While Israel kept failing, God’s love for them never did. His love is unconditional and never ending. God’s love was not based on what His people did or didn’t do; it was based on their position as His children. Nothing could ever change God’s love for them.
Sin matters. Of course, it does. God didn’t excuse that in the life of Hosea’s wife. It’s never okay for you or me to just resign ourselves to wallowing in the things we shouldn’t think, say and do. But if you find yourself in a condition where you are wondering how God could still love you, remember, your position as His child has not changed. His love for you still remains the same. You may think that God could never love you because of the things you think, say or do. But God’s love is not based on what you think, say and do. God’s love is based on your position as a child of God (1 John 3:1)!
P.S. I hope you are reading and studying through Hosea this month while we are in our message series “Reckless Love.”