What's Harder Than Marrying an Adulterous Woman?
Hosea, Day 8
And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”
- Hosea 3:1-3, ESV
When new recruits join the Navy and go to Navy Boot Camp, I'm sure it's probably the hardest thing they've done in their lives. They learn disciple, hard work, physical and mental focus, teamwork, leadership and more. What could be harder? Well, how about Navy S.E.A.L. School?
At the beginning of Hosea, Hosea is told to marry "a woman of whoredom" who will be unfaithful to him. She even bears him children fathered by other men. What could be harder than that? We get our answer here in Hosea 3. Here, Gomer has apparently left Hosea and ran off to be with another man who has then abandoned her. She has ended up for sale in a slave market. So the Lord tells Hosea to go and buy his wife back with coins and grain.
Too often, we don't think of the people in the Bible as real people. Hosea was a real man who loved his wife. Imagine how painful it was for him when she left him to go and be with another man. Then, imagine how hard it would have been for him to go to the slave market and buy his unfaithful wife back from her sad consequences of her unfaithfulness.
And yet think about our lives in relationship to the Lord. How many times have we been unfaithful to Him? If our sinful attraction to the world is spiritual adultery, how must our heavenly husband feel about being constantly betrayed by His bride? And when we were in slavery to sin, it took our bridegroom much more than coins and grain to buy us back. He had to shed His blood and give up His life to redeem us from slavery and secure us to Himself again.
This is what is ultimately promised in Hosea 3. In the end, God's word through the Law and Prophets would never be enough to secure His people to Himself. He would call them back again and again, and they would temporarily repent and return only to go back to their idolatry and gross immorality.
So, God says He is going to let His people live without a king and a proper kingdom for a long time. "Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the latter days." David here refers to the coming Son of David, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We know now how much it cost our Greater David to secure our hearts. But we can also know that because He has purchased us with His blood and given His Holy Spirit to indwell us and secure us, we are His and He is ours forever. Yes, we still struggle with sin and doubt and fear, but our security is complete and unshakable in Him.