Read:  Hosea 1:1 – 3:5

Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.  Hosea 2:14-15

I am a sucker for love stories.
A guy and a girl meet.
Fall in love.
Something tries to tear them apart.
They stay in love.
They live happily ever after.

I admit it. I’m a hopeless romantic.

Perhaps that’s why I love the story of Hosea and Gomer.

See, God spoke to a man named Hosea and told him to marry a whore. Yes, God. The one true God who created the heavens and the earth…the one who knows all, sees all, and is the greatest power, told Hosea to marry a whore. Hosea was a prophet who had set himself apart and committed His ways to the Lord. Gomer was a woman who had a sinful, scandalous reputation, and lived a life of sexual sin.

Some theologians believe this story is written as a parable to show us the state of God’s chosen people (Israel) at this time. Gomer signifies corruption and sin, which is exactly what the people of Israel were consumed in. In verse 9 , God tells Hosea to name one of his sons, “Not my people” because the people of Israel no longer showed any interest in serving God in their way of living, keeping His commandments, or worshipping Him.

Sounds like the state of our world, doesn’t it?

Even as believers , sometimes we allow our bad habits to grow into sin, and that sin grows into a stronghold. Before we know it, we are living a life completely contrary to the Word of God.

But there’s always hope.

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days she was fresh out of Egypt. (bondage)” Hosea 2:14-15 (MSG)

A fresh start.

An invitation for Israel to repent, go back to the place where they first came to know God, receive His forgiveness and love, and start all over.

That same invitation is available to us today. No matter how far away we’ve strayed from God, He is still inviting us to come back to Him. He’ll clean us up, renew our minds, pour out His love on us, and give us a fresh start.

We don’t have to understand His relentless love. We just have to receive it.

What an incredible love story.

Prayer :
Lord, there are places within us that are far from you. We confess those areas and sins, and ask for your forgiveness. As we walk out the steps of repentance and deliverance, please overwhelm us with your love and draw us back to the place where we first experienced you. In prayer, in your word, in worship….meet us. We receive your relentless love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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