On verses 14-23: After describing in previous verses how God wanted to punish Israel for their unfaithfulness to Him, Hosea now goes on to describe the amazing, forgiving, second-chance-giving love that God extends to Israel. From these verses we can learn 12 ways that God loves you and me.
1. God’s love takes initiative.
God is a leader and, like a good leader, God takes the initiative. God will not force Himself upon you, but He does take the first step and waits for you to respond. He stands at the door and knocks.
Hosea 2:14 (NIV) 14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.
2. God’s love for you is renewing and restoring.
Hosea 2:15 (NIV) 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of he youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
By the way, valley of Achor means valley of trouble. God can turn your valley of trouble into a door of hope.
3. God’s love for you is intimate, close and based on a promise. It’s not like a master-servant relationship which is colder, more distant and based on a contract. We see that same love when Jesus tells his disciples, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
Hosea 2:16 (NIV) 16 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
4. God’s love purifies and makes us holy. God took idol worshippers like us and made us holy priests in His kingdom.
Hosea 2:17 (NIV) 17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked.
5. God’s love protects. God is committed to keeping you from all harm, watching over your life (Psalm 121:7).
Hosea 2:18 (NIV) 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.
6. God’s love for you is forever.
Hosea 2:19a (NIV) 19 I will betroth you to me forever…
7. God’s love for you is righteous and just. God’s love for you does not delight in evil, but is full of righteousness and justice. The cross where Jesus died is the perfect intersection where God’s righteousness and justice met God’s love and compassion. At the cross, God in His righteousness and justice punished our sin and at the same cross God extended the greatest love and compassion the world has ever known.
Hosea 2:19b (NIV) 19 …I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
8. God’s love is faithful. You can always count on God’s love for you.
Hosea 2:20 (NIV) 20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.
9. God’s love is responsive. God is sensitive to your needs and to your call.
Hosea 2:21a (NIV) 21 “In that day I will respond,” declares the LORD– “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth;
10. God’s love brings you life.
Hosea 2:21-22 (NIV) 21 “In that day I will respond,” declares the LORD– “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; 22 and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel.
11. God’s love for you is personal. You’ve been chosen by God.
Hosea 2:23a (NIV) 23 I will plant her for myself in the land…;
12. God’s love is redemptive and forgiving. He’s the God of second chances.
Hosea 2:23b (NIV) 23 …I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.'”
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your perfect and amazing love for me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!