Hosea 3 … Consider His Redeeming Love

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley, (3:1-2).

Hosea’s call was anything but easy, especially to one who had obviously committed himself to purity and obedience. But the first words Hosea hears from his God was this exacting command to love as He loves.

When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord,” (Hosea 1:2).

I couldn’t help but wonder how Hosea felt when he heard that he was to go and marry a flagrant whore. But today it hit me between the eyes. Hosea did in fact love her.

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress…” (3:1).

This adulteress prostitute was loved by her husband. Whether he loved her before he married her or not is undisclosed in his story. But in Hosea’s obedience and love for his God, he fell in love with the woman, as undeserving as she was.

Many have said that you can’t explain love; but oh, we really can’t explain His Redeeming Love.

A chapter of only five verses; scholars deem verses 3 and 4 as prefiguring Israel’s exile and purging in that Gomer would be returned, but for many days she would live as though she had no husband, as the nation Israel would go into exile without king or prince, but also without idols.

Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols, (3:3-4).

But afterward

Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days, (3:5).

What a wonderful word of hope, afterward. His people would return because He would return them to Himself, symbolized in Hosea, the loving husband who would love his wife again. And this love would be demonstrated in his purchasing her back out of the bondage of prostitution, paying the price as for a slave.

So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley, (3:2).

“The price generally, for which the prophet obtained the wife, was probably intended to indicate the servile condition out of which Jehovah purchased Israel to be His people; and the circumstance that the prophet gave no more for the wife than the amount at which a slave could be obtained, according to Exodus 21:32 and Zechariah 11:12, and that this amount was not even paid in money, but half of it in barley – a kind of food so generally despised throughout antiquity (see Numbers 5:15) – was intended to depict still more strikingly the deeply depressed condition of the woman,” Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament.

Such a low place that Gomer had found herself, trapped in the bondage of harlotry. Why would God call Hosea to go and love her again? Why would God lead Hosea to purchase her out of a slavery she had seemingly chosen? The why remains a mystery in a sense; for who can fathom such love, who can grasp His Heart for the Harlot? But the how is clearly explained in His God-Breathed Word, and perhaps therein lies much of the why as well. It was and is His Redeeming Love; His Redeeming Love so undeserved; His Redeeming Love that purchased us out of the lowliest of conditions; and it is His Redeeming Love that brings us to His afterward.

Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days, (3:5).

Consider His Redeeming Love

His Redeeming Love was demonstrated when He brought His people out from under the burdens of the Egyptians by His strength and justice.

Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments,” (Exodus 6:6).

And His Redeeming Love is nothing that anyone earns or deserves. He is faithful to His covenant and He chooses to set His Love on those He Redeems.

“The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt,” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

And while it truly is beyond our ability to understand, it is worth our time to contemplate.

  • His Redeeming Love is upheld in His truth and justice forever.
    • The works of His hands are truth and justice;
      All His precepts are sure.
      They are upheld forever and ever;
      They are performed in truth and uprightness.
      He has sent redemption to His people;
      He has ordained His covenant forever;
      Holy and awesome is His name,
      (Psalm 111:7-9).
  • His Redeeming Love wipes out all our transgressions and sins.
    • “Remember these things, O Jacob,
      And Israel, for you are My servant;
      I have formed you, you are My servant,
      O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me.
      22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
      And your sins like a heavy mist.
      Return to Me, for I have redeemed you,”
      (Isaiah 44:21-22).
  • His Redeeming Love purchases us out of bondage without money.
    • For thus says the Lord, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed without money,” (Isaiah 52:3).
  • His Redeeming Love accomplishes our salvation through His promised Servant.
    • “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
      For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
      69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
      In the house of David His servant,”
      (Luke 1:68-69).
  • His Redeeming Love removes the curse of sin through the cross of Christ.
    •  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” (Galatians 3:13).
  • His Redeeming Love grants us adoption as His sons and daughters.
    • But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons, (Galatians 4:4-5).
  • His Redeeming Love rescues us from the power of darkness and carries us to the kingdom of His beloved Son
    • For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, (Colossians 1:13-14).

How do we respond to His Redeeming Love?

Let us begin by giving Him thanks each and every day for this unfathomable, unmerited gift of His Redeeming Love, that we would not be able to help but tell others of His goodness and everlasting lovingkindness.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
(Psalm 107:2).

There is so much sadness and grief these days; universal tragedies brought on by war, storms, sickness and death. Many of us have been touched personally. And the enemy is relentless in attempting to lure us into fixating on the adversities that so very often accompany this life. Let us choose to remind ourselves, and one another, to turn our attention to the hope we have because of His Redeeming Love.

O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption,
(Psalm 130:7).

Because the truth is, this life is fraught with afflictions. And in those times when we are touched by life’s disappointments and disasters, let us trust Him to draw near with His grace and strength, knowing that our life is secure in His Redeeming Love.

You drew near when I called on You;
You said, “Do not fear!”
58 O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause;
You have redeemed my life,
(Lamentations 3:57-58).

Christ died for us to bring us to the afterward. Oh that we would live in eager anticipation of the day we will gather around His throne with all His Redeemed saints for all of eternity to offer praise and worship before the Lamb Who purchased us and clothed us in His righteousness by His Redeeming Love.

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; 10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (Revelation 7:9-11).

Let’s Grow Together!

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