Today’s passage is Hosea 3:1-5. It contains a powerful lesson for us as we begin our fast together. Open your Bible, click on the above Scripture link or check out your GAME booklet to read today’s passage. Let’s go!
First, God’s love for you is unconditional (v1). We see God’s unconditional love in verse 1 where it says “the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes” (v1).
To illustrate His unconditional love, God tells the prophet Hosea to love his wife, though she had cheated on him, with that same unconditional love: “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (v1).
Today , remember that there’s nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less. That’s the unconditional love of God for you.
Second, God’s love for you is redemptive (v2). What does it mean to redeem something? It means to buy something back, to regain possession of something you lost by paying a price for it. We see that in verse 2. Hosea’s wife had run away and become a prostitute, but Hosea finds her and pays 15 shekels of silver and about 330 litres of barley to buy her back.
In the same way, when we had run away from God, made a mess of our lives and become slaves to sin, God paid the highest price to redeem us, to regain possession of us. God paid far more than silver and barley to redeem us. The redemption price God paid for your life was the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. So when we sing songs like “My Redeemer Lives”, we’re recognizing that God paid the highest price to save us and get us back.
Finally, God’s love casts a new vision for your life (v3-5). In verse 3, Hosea casts a new vision for his wife’s future. He basically says, “No longer will you be a prostitute, or give yourself to someone else. Instead you will live with me many days and I will be faithful to you.”
Similarly, in verses 4-5, God casts a new vision for His people: instead of being unfaithful idol-worshipers (v4), He says they will “return and seek the Lord their God and David their king” (v5). (By the way, King David had died centuries before Hosea wrote down this prophecy, so who is Hosea referring to when he says, “David their king”? It’s a reference to the Messiah who would be born to David’s line and who would be their king one day – i.e. Jesus Christ the Son of David. As God’s people we were made to return and to seek God and His Son Jesus Christ.)
Just as Hosea’s love gave him a new vision for his wife, just as God’s love gave God a new vision for the Israelites, God has a new vision for your life too. No longer will you be an idol-worshiper; rather God made you to be someone who returns to God, who seeks Him, who fears (i.e. respects and reveres) God and who experiences His blessings.
God’s love for you is unconditional, but God doesn’t want you to stay the same. He’s here to give you a new, God-centered vision for your life.
Heavenly Father, thank You that there’s nothing I could ever do to make You love me more or make You love me less. Your love for me is unconditional! Thank You that Your love for me inspires me to pursue a greater, God-centered vision for my life, and empowers me to live out that vision. Thank You for the unconditional, redemptive, empowering love of Christ in my life. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!