Hosea is not your typical romance, but it is a true picture of how God romances us. He loves us in our sin. He promises Himself to us, and though He knows we will slip away to other lovers, He finds us and buys us back. He even pays our going rate. How humiliating to Him, but in His love, He is willing to do whatever is necessary to have us back. Of all the romances in the Bible, this is not the most beautiful, but it is probably the most real. God is the true romancer.
“‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress,’” God told Hosea about Gomer, his wife. “‘Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.’ So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.” (3:1-2)
“Fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley…” that was Gomer’s price, and Hosea paid it so he could have her back even though she was his already. Hosea had to pay a prostitute’s price to get his wife back. God is willing to do that, and more, for you.
Yes, Hosea is a book of prophesy about how the nation of Israel will have to pay the consequences for their sin of worshiping other gods, but it is ultimately a book about redemption, because God will eventually make her His bride.
“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord, ‘you will call me “my husband”… I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.’” (2:16;19-20)
Why is this? Because we finally came home? No, because God bought us and brought us back to Himself. Because we are His and He can’t forsake what is His.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? … My heart churns within Me; my sympathy is stirred … I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them.” (Hosea 11:8, 14:4) That is the voice of a romantic lover who is following the passion of his heart. Could this be the Lord?
It is God’s commitment to us in spite of our sin and waywardness that is our ultimate hope. It is not because we are a good wife. It is because He is a good and faithful husband who will stop at nothing to make us and keep us His.