December 21, 2023
Picture: Faithful Husband
Hosea 1:2, 3:1-4; Revelation 19:6-9
The northern Kingdom of the Jews couldn’t have known it at the time, but as Jeroboam’s reign inched to an end so did the time of peace they had enjoyed. Israel was in a special covenant relationship with God. The only parallel in which it could be understood was marriage. But in an act of betrayal, Israel began worshipping other gods. In the context of this covenant, they were committing spiritual adultery. In order to embody the severity of the betrayal, God gives the Prophet Hosea these instructions.
When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea:
“Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry
And children of harlotry,
For the land has committed great harlotry
By departing from the Lord.”
Hosea 1:2 (NKJV)
Gomer’s wandering heart was so insatiable that she eventually fled the façade of marriage, choosing to sell her body to other men and be owned by strangers. The heartbreak can be heard in Hosea’s prophecy against Israel’s spiritual adultery. But Then God asks Hosea to do the unthinkable.
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.
Hosea 3:1-4 (NKJV)
Certainly, this prophecy speaks to a reconciled relationship between God and Jewish people. However, it also paints a picture of another faithful groom who would lay down his own life to win His betrothed.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NKJV)
At Christmas, we not only celebrate the Word becoming flesh, but the arrival of the faithful Bride Groom who paid the price with his own blood. He ascended into heaven and is making preparations for His final union with His Bride, the church.
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God."
Revelation 19:6-9 (NKJV)