The book of Hosea is a love story that’s real, allegorical and prophetic. Set during the moral decline of Israel’s Northern Kingdom, God gives his people a picture of his love for them. He instructs the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute who betrays her vows and takes many lovers. When the people see Hosea’s suffering, God wants them to know “what it feels like to be me, when you run away to false gods.”
Hosea’s story is both tragic and wondrous. He grieves through the pain of a runaway bride only to be instructed by God to buy her back and restore her as his wife. Through Hosea’s marriage, we see the severity of rebellion and spiritual drift when we compare his situation to that of God and Israel. God warns his people there will be judgment for running to false gods. But like Hosea—he will pursue them and bring them back home. God is a persistent lover.
We also run away to idols—things we believe will give our life meaning, value, and security. Things that cause us to break God’s heart by not trusting in him.
God’s desire is for the heart of his people. He won’t give up the chase to get us back. As you welcome God into your week, offer this prayer of gratitude, “Father, thank you for loving me enough to persistently pursue me when I run away to things I think will give me more value than you.”