Faithful to the Unfaithful
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 135:15-21 | Hosea 1:1-3:5 | 1 John 5:1-21 | Proverbs 29:5-8
Today’s Scripture Focus: Hosea 1:1-3:5
The LORD said to me, “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, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes” (Hosea 3:1 NIV).
Sometimes God calls a prophet to do something unusual as a prophetic action. Among the most difficult is the command of the Lord to the prophet Hosea. He is to marry Gomer, a prostitute who will repeatedly prove to be unfaithful. And he is to always take her back and love her faithfully.
In this extraordinary prophetic act, God is demonstrating his unrelenting faithfulness to his people in spite of their repeated acts of unfaithfulness.
The whole of the Hebrew Scriptures is a testimony to the truth God is demonstrating through Hosea’s prophetic words and action: his people have a tendency toward unfaithfulness—a tendency toward worshipping other gods—and they go through cycles of disobedience leading to judgment leading to repentance and return. But the cycle never seems to stop. After a while, they drift back into indifference and unfaithfulness.
Yet despite the repeated acts of unfaithfulness, he calls Hosea to demonstrate faithfulness to Gomer. In the same way, God has remained faithful to his often-unfaithful people and he holds out hope that one day they will return. In the final words of the book, God lays out his ultimate intention: that his people will one day return in faithfulness: “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.”
Old Testament or New, despite our wavering faithfulness, God always remain faithful. As Paul wrote to Timothy: “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, since he cannot deny himself” (2Tim. 2:13 ESV). Open up your heart to your faithful God and praise him! Despite the fact that we sometimes prove unfaithful, he never gives up on us: he remains faithful! His love endures forever.
Father God, great is your faithfulness. Great is your steadfast love toward your people. Forgive us for times when we are unfaithful, when we drift and compromise. Thank you for always receiving us with love as we return from our prodigal ways. Give us a steadfast spirit and enable us by your Spirit to demonstrate faithfulness and perseverance as we continue on in faith. Amen.