The love of God is inexplicable: the prophet Hosea speaks of a day in which Israelâ€™s covenant relationship (marriage) with God, which has been trashed by her persistent idolatry, will be totally restored and renewed. God loves an Israel who has shamelessly shared her bed with other lovers. This love comes to a nation who has tasted the bitterness of Godâ€™s judgement. His love is not based on any worthiness on her part. God goes out to renew the marriage not on the basis of Israelâ€™s efforts to rebuild what has been destroyed but purely and simply on His own utter faithfulness as Israelâ€™s true husband. Any response from Israel is because God first loves her.
This promised restoration and blessing can only find its ultimate fulfilment in Christ in the power of a new covenant in which God Himself goes further than trying to patch up a failed marriage. He actually makes a fresh marriage â€” a totally new union â€” as if nothing had ever gone wrong and fills His Bride with the power now to stay true not because we are any better of ourselves than Israel but because God establishes through Christ the character of His unfathomable love in our hearts forever.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.