Hosea 2 … Consider Him, Our Betrothed

“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord,”

God again directs Hosea to address the people of Israel within the context of a marriage/family analogy.

Say to your brothers, “Ammi,” and to your sisters, “Ruhamah,” (2:1).

The message that is delivered is one of contention and judgment, divulging the plan of God to put the harlot away, to strip her naked and leave her exposed and unprotected, devoid of His compassion.

“Also, I will have no compassion on her children,
Because they are children of harlotry.
“For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink,’”

And while yesterday, we were caught up in the wonder of His incomprehensible love demonstrated in His Heart for the Harlot, what we hear Him pronounce against His people today sounds nothing like a love story. But as we carefully consider what His punishment was after, His redeeming love for His people will unfold before our eyes. His judgment would cause His people to know that is only His hand that provides their sustenance.

“For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil,
And lavished on her silver and gold,
Which they used for Baal.
“Therefore, I will take back My grain at harvest time
And My new wine in its season.
I will also take away My wool and My flax
Given to cover her nakedness,

And God would prove Himself as He put His people in that place without any hope of rescue from the ones they had come to love.

 “And then I will uncover her lewdness
In the sight of her lovers,
And no one will rescue her out of My hand,”

And the intent of His Heart for the Harlot would be accomplished as she came to realize all she had forsaken in leaving Him.

“She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them;
And she will seek them, but will not find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband,
For it was better for me then than now!’”

And in this place, with none to rescue, with nowhere to look for deliverance, they would be made ready for return.

And suddenly this image arose in my mind of scenes we’ve all heard about, and perhaps seen displayed on the screen, scenes of the man going to great lengths to prepare for the day when he asks the one he so dearly loves to spend the rest of her life with him; scenes of what we call “the proposal.”

Out of curiosity, I searched for “proposal ideas” on the web. Not surprising, more than ten sites popped up, offering a plethora of “the best” romantic proposal ideas, and that was only on the first page. As a people, we really are smitten by romance; actually we were created that way by the Greatest Romantic of all times. And while I’m certain the internet would not include  stripping her naked, hedging her up with thorns, putting her away unprotected and without compassion, and destroying all her means of support and sustenance as romantic ideas, what follows is actually pretty romantic.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her,”

The scene is a tender luring away from all the distractions, into that place to hear His kind intentions. And then comes the most amazingly romantic proposal that has ever been planned, offering His restoration through His covenant of hope, peace, fidelity and joy as He Betroths His people to Himself forever.

“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord,”

In Biblical times, Betrothals were much more than a proposal, with striking differences from what we think of in our modern-day engagements. Betrothals were legally binding contracts between a man and his intended bride, a contract sealed by a “bride price” or dowry.

betroth: “781. אָרַשׂ ʾāraś: A verb meaning to betroth, pledge in marriage. The word means to become engaged to, to marry a woman (Deut. 20:7). The betrothed was usually accompanied with a bride price (Ex. 22:16[15]; 2 Sam. 3:14) or dowry. It was considered adultery and much more dangerous to seduce a betrothed woman than a virgin (Ex. 22:16[15]; Deut. 22:23, 25, 27, 28). A betrothed woman was bound to marry the man she was engaged to (Deut. 28:30). The word was used figuratively to describe the Lord’s betrothal of Israel to Himself (Hos. 2:19[21], 20[22]). Therefore, the relationship with His people was one of personal intimacy at its deepest level,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

 Consider Him, Our Betrothed

In keeping with the precepts of His Word, His Betrothal would require Him to pay the “bride price.”

And while many today deem a dowry to be property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage, in Biblical times the dowry was paid by the man.

bride price/dowry: “4117. מָהַר māhar: A verb indicating the giving of a dowry. It means to get a wife by paying the mōhar, the marriage dowry; gifts to acquire one’s wife (Ex. 22:16[15]),” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

And in order to Betroth us to Himself and acquire us as His bride, He would pay the most costly of any “bride price” ever paid.

 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, (1 Peter 1:19).

And His bride price would be in keeping with His righteousness and justice, His lovingkindness and compassion, and His faithfulness.

“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord,”

He Is Our Betrothed.

  • He Has Betrothed Us in Righteousness and in Justice.
    • for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus, (Romans 3:26).
  • He Has Betrothed Us in Lovingkindness and in Compassion.
    • so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:78).
  • He Has Betrothed Us in Faithfulness.
    • God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, (1 Corinthians 1:9).

How do we respond to Him, Our Betrothed?

The day is coming when we will celebrate our marriage with Him, Our Betrothed; the day when His creation will be restored and free from pain and death and sickness and sorrow, the day when all will hear Him declare that we are His People; the day when His bride will be made ready to dwell forever with Him, our God, Our Betrothed.

“It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the Lord.
“I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth,
22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil,
And they will respond to Jezreel.
23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land.
I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion,
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:2-4).

For all of us who are romantics at heart, it really does not get any more romantic than that. But oh, may we never forget the “bride price” He paid, that we would continually be enraptured by His Heart for the Harlot, that we would live to glorify Him, Our Betrothed, until He calls us home.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, (1 Corinthians 6:20:).

Let’s Grow Together!

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