An Angry Love
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
~ Jeremiah 31:3
I had a friend whose husband was cheating on her. She was brokenhearted and wanted to make things right. She set them up for counseling, she continued to show love towards him, she even bore him another child, thinking it would fix things. She did everything possible to make the marriage work. Eventually, the pain he kept inflicting on her caused her to finally make a decision to leave. It was a difficult time for her, because deep in her heart was a seed of love that still remained.
God was intensely saddened by the Northern Kingdom, Israel. The year was approximately 753 B.C. So very long ago, yet the message is still relevant today. Israel had turned their hearts away from God and were worshipping idols. God still had a deep love for them but was angry at their actions.
God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Hosea was told ahead of time, that she would commit adultery and would bear children belonging to other men. God wanted to send a message though Hosea’s example. It’s a story of love and redemption.
In the first chapter of the book of Hosea, God tells the people that He will no longer show love or forgive Israel, but will instead show love to Judah. He did not tell them, “I do not love you.” He said, “I will not show love.” There is a big difference. In chapter two God tells of His love for His unfaithful people and wants to redeem them. He is offering them something, if they will only listen.
In chapter three, Hosea actually has to go and bring his adulteress wife back to himself. He redeems her, showing just how God will redeem Israel. The rest of the book tells of Israel’s wickedness and their punishment if they will not change. God is pleading with his people, just like a husband or wife may plead with their unfaithful spouse, to return.
In chapter eleven, God’s words are very sorrowful. He says, “How can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go?” He yearned for their love. God was angry, but He still loved them. The last chapter is God’s message of a promise to heal them, if they would repent. They are reminded that God’s love has no bounds and His anger would be gone forever if they would only turn back to Him.
God still loves us today, even when we choose not to follow Him. He is still calling to us, just as He did through His prophet Hosea, to Israel so many years ago. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The entire Bible is a love story. God may get angry with us, but He continues to love us. God gave His only son as a sacrifice for our sins. All we need to do is accept that gift and give our hearts to Him. It’s the same thing God was asking of His people many centuries ago. He wants and deserves our hearts of devotion. Hosea 14:9 says, “Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are discerning listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But sinners stumble and fall along the way.” Don’t stumble and fall away from the greatest love of all, the love of God though His son Jesus Christ.
Dearest Lord, Thank you for your endless love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen
~ Jenny Calvert