I believe God sovereignly chose the sin of adultery to be so painful in marriage because it may be the closest we can come to experiencing the anguish we cause our Savior in our unfaithfulness.
Believers are Christ’s bride. He is our perfect groom. He has always been and always will be faithful to us. We choose other lovers over and over again and he refuses to let us go. When he joyfully endured the cross this truth was not absent from his mind.
The Jews had just turned their backs on him and because he is God, he knew we would continue to do this until the day he returns to redeem the world. The story of Hosea is a picture of just that.
At God’s command Hosea marries a “wife of whoredom.” He deeply loves her and gives her everything she could possibly want and need - a warm home, good food, nice clothes, loving companionship and beautiful children - but it is not enough. She plainly says to him, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.” (Hosea 2 : 5-6)
We exchange deep intimacy for cheap sex. Jesus knows and loves us more deeply than any temporary lover possibly could. Yet we chose to walk away from that security and comfort to go after the things that feel good for a moment.
She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’
(Hosea 2 : 7)
We recognize that this does not satisfy and beg our husband to take us back. And when we do, our Groom should be waiting at the front door with a smug look on his face saying, “You really messed up. You had a good thing and you ruined it.” Instead his says:
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”
(Hosea 2 : 14)
We fail to remember his faithfulness pursuing other lovers again and again. But oh, my favorite part…
The LORD said to Hosea, “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.
(Hosea 3 : 1-2)
He bought her back! He did not just allow her to come back again. He went after her and paid for her. For his wife. His unfaithful wife. Who was already his.
That is exactly what Jesus did for you and for me. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says that we were bought at a price. Psalm 103 : 10-12 says:
“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Can you imagine loving someone that much!? When we understand this love that Christ has for us we cannot help but press into him, acknowledging his goodness.
Let us acknowledge the Lord; Let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear. He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. - Hosea 6 : 3
Unfaithful in the Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."