“When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Go take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.'”
– Hosea 1:2
What an introduction to this book, God telling Hosea to go and take an adulterous, unfaithful wife and have a family that’s marked by adultery and unfaithfulness. The imagery here is obviously so potent. This picture of God saying this is what sin is. It is spiritual adultery. I know there are likely people listening to this right now who have experienced this in your marriage or family, and I don’t presume to know all the hurt that goes with that. Having walked through that with couples, alongside couples, I’ve seen the effects. And at the same time, I’ve seen the effects of God’s grace, and God’s mercy, and God’s redemption.
And that’s the whole picture from the very beginning of Hosea, God saying sin is serious. Sin is spiritual adultery, that God’s people had run after the things of this world. It had been unfaithful to God in a horrifying, terrible, hurtful way. But God is calling Hosea to bring good news to His people, that He loves them anyway, that He will forgive them and He will bring them back, that He will redeem them, that He will restore them if they will trust in Him.
So to hear this from the very beginning of Hosea, let’s remember, one, how serious sin is. Let’s not run. Oh, let’s not run around on God, on Jesus. Let’s run to him. Let’s be faithful to him today. Let’s resist temptation and sin in every way today, every thought, every desire, every word, every deed. Let’s pursue Jesus in love today. Let’s cling to Jesus. Let’s flee immorality, idolatry, sin, temptation in every way. And let’s praise Jesus for redeeming us, restoring us, for paying the price for our sins, so that despite our unfaithfulness, despite our spiritual adultery, God welcomes us, calls us the bride of Jesus, calls us His children as part of His family.
God, we praise you for your grace and your mercy in the gospel. Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross to pay the price for our sins, our spiritual adultery, for paying the price to bring us back to God, to restore us to relationship with God, to be your bride, your body now and forever. All glory be to your name, Jesus, for your redemption, your restoration. And so we pray today over each one of our lives, help us to walk faithfully with you based on your faithfulness to us. Help us to cling to you by your grace. Help us to turn from sin and temptation at every point. Help us to obey you, to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, to not run around on you with the things of this world that do not satisfy, that destroy.
Then God, we pray that you would use us to make this good news known around the world where so many different gods and idols are worshiped. God, among the Khatri people of Pakistan, 1.18 million of them, hardly any followers of Jesus. None of the Khatri community has reported themselves as Christians. None. God, we pray for the spread of your grace and your redemption and your love through Jesus to the Khatri people of Pakistan. Hear our prayers for them and bring them into the family. Bring them into being a part of your bride, we pray, Lord Jesus. We love you. Oh God, we praise you for pursuing us even when we have been unfaithful to you, and we pray that you would help us to walk faithfully with you today, in Jesus name. Amen.