Anyway, it occurred to me that Hosea should make me pay attention more. God had the prophet marry and be faithful to and try to redeem the kind of woman most people would call hopeless and beyond redemption. He did this to show us what His relationship to us is like.
I know, I know, in context, He's specifically addressing the nation of Israel at the time. But we're told the church is His bride, and I think we're very much like the ridiculous beloved turning away from all the undeserved love given by the lover and pursuing things that are seriously bad for us in one way or another. The general story seems to apply.
Really, these relationships are nightmarish, and they usually don't end well. But God wants one with every person on this earth. Just think about that.
I mean, yes, He's infinite and all-powerful and such, but I can't even imagine surviving one relationship like Hosea's, and Hosea didn't have the burden of being all-knowing. I mean, he didn't know everything his wife thought and felt, every sin she committed. How much heartache and heartbreak can one person's love overcome?
That's how much He loves us. Even though these relationships are heart-wrenching to go through, and even though most of them don't end with salvation and redemption, God loves us that much.
That love is not an emotion. It can't be.
"Love one another as I have loved you."
And the hardest part is that this even this love does not conquer all because when beings with wills collide, there's no guarantee of a happy ending. We can choose wrong over and over again until we're out of time, and then we pay the price. Not everyone accepts grace and salvation. Not every beloved chooses to respond to the lover and be changed. But our response doesn't change His love for us, as shown by His actions.
"While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly."
It really makes me think.
What about you?