You’ve opened a special gift and chocolates, placed your roses in water or perhaps you just left the church cemetery where you placed your last rose in honor of someone you loved and lost.
In a world filled with media, from Hollywood hopes and dreams to the Holy Bible, how can we find true love in this life? How can we experience fulfilling relationships according to God’s Word? How can we have real friendships with real people who really care? You may be discouraged and have a heart that is shut down when you’ve been transparent with someone who betrayed you, to feeling security in a lasting relationship because you are married to your best friend. You may be sitting at the bedside of your lifelong mate in Hospice, or you may have a romantic dinner planned with all the trimmings. Whatever the case, we need to remind ourselves, even through the pain—so that our perspective changes, that we have an everlasting love totally with God.
You might be wondering in your heart, “How could God love me after what I’ve been through” to “how could God love me after all I have done?” The truth is—God loves you unconditionally and sent His Son Jesus to redeem mankind through the finished work on the Cross of Calvary. His precious blood paid the high price, once and for all for the sins of the world.
Let’s turn to God’s love letter to all mankind—the perfect Valentine’s Day illustration through the pages of the Bible.
In order to understand the Book of Hosea, we must understand some background. The name “Hosea” means “salvation.” The book is literally a message of salvation to a spiritually bankrupt people. (That would be all of mankind)
Hosea is calling out to Gomer. Do you see how “Salvation” is calling out to Gomer in the Book of Hosea? The name Gomer means complete, so every time Hosea calls her by name, he is calling her complete. The Bible tells us to call things that aren’t as though they are already—He is still doing that today. Pay attention to the words you use with those you love and care about—and don’t allow the enemy to get you into a war of words.
God is calling out to us through the gift of Jesus, our salvation, so we can be made whole in Him. God sees us through the finished work on the Cross of Calvary where Jesus shed His precious blood for you and me. He arose three days later and is seated at the right hand of the Father, still interceding for us today. His resurrection power is still available today! You can read about it in my second book: A LEAP OF FAITH (25 Days at the Mercy Seat)—the story of all the miracles in my precious husband’s life and how God used different people in the process. We witnessed the faithfulness of God. While God is always faithful, sometimes people are not.
There is an amazing account in the Bible about the Prophet Hosea and his troubled relationship in marriage where you will see a powerful testimony for us today concerning our own tendencies to be unfaithful to God. It is also a beautiful portrait of the passionate love God has for us.
Let’s start with what the Bible says first. Hosea receives an unusual instruction from God: “”Go, take a harlot wife and harlot’s children, for the land gives itself to harlotry, turning away from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim” (Hosea 1:2).
Another version reads: “Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the whole land has been promiscuous by abandoning the LORD. So he went and married Gomer daughter of Dibliam, and she conceived and bore him a son” (Hosea 1:2-3 HOLMAN CSB).
With Valentine’s Day approaching, you might be feeling a little frustrated for various reasons. You may be married and feel you are lacking romance. You may be on top of the world with everything seemingly going your way—but still feel an emptiness within. You may be divorced and feel you have waited too long to find love again. You may be a widow and missing your spouse. You may be single and looking for love. Valentine’s Day can feel a little frustrating for some if we have our hopes and dreams in a person or in an unrealistic expectation.
The only love that never leaves you frustrated is the love of Jesus Christ. Many are heartbroken over a lack of romance to being frustrated with not finding their Mr. or Mrs. Right. Many want to rush the process and engage in the marital plan before the actual marriage.
If you will think with me for a moment, Hollywood gives us a view of what looking for love in all the wrong places looks like on a long-term basis. Most relationships don’t last. Actually, Hollywood sets people up to expect far beyond reality. Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, part of the problem is we’re looking to the wrong relationship to fill the empty place in our hearts where we have a longing to be loved and pursued?
God gives us a passionate example of His relationship with us and He chose marriage as the metaphor. I share in greater detail in my first book: GOD’S PRICELESS TREASURE how God uses marriage as a metaphor of our relationship with Jesus. Marriage is a beautiful portrait of the amazing love of God that He desires that we experience in Him.
The Book of Solomon portrays a beautiful love story. However, when we move to the Book of Hosea, we find a very different story. It’s not a perfect relationship with roses and young love. As a matter of fact, if you run out today and buy roses for your beloved, if you are not careful, the roses can freeze due to the cold weather outside.
We must learn not to allow the outside circumstances of life and wrong associations to damage our relationship with our beloved. Listening to and watching the wrong things, or even listening to people with wrong thinking in life can harm our personal relationships.
The Book of Hosea is definitely not a picture of wholeness and fidelity. God chose this relationship that is lacking, broken and filled with infidelity—the marriage of the prophet Hosea and Gomer, who behaved as a prostitute, to reveal a much bigger picture to you and I of His redemptive love.
You might be surprised if you have never read the Book of Hosea when you pay attention to what the Lord said:
“When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, He said to him, ‘Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods’ (Hosea 1:2).
This might sound a little strange to you and it will certainly get your attention. It is the love of God that constrains us. He captures us through His amazing redemptive love and then we are captivated for the rest of our lives as we abide in His sweet presence through fellowship.
God saw the problem. He sees all. God uses the marriage to paint a beautifully illustrated portrait of a life filled with fractures and problems, yet the divine and amazing love of the Father God and His pursuit of His children.
At some point in everyone’s life, we have all behaved much like Gomer in some area. Even with all our junk, God still loves us and desires to be in relationship with us. That is an amazing love, my friend. All have acted like prostitutes in turning from God in one area or another at some point in time.
We find a literal marriage illustration in the first three chapters of Hosea of God’s relationship with us.
The Blood of Jesus paid for all the sins of the whole world. This was before we were actually born. We have a Blood Covenant with God that cannot be annulled. It is everlasting.
God is obviously showing His extraordinary love and grace. He continues to take His people back even when they betray Him. This is a beautiful illustration of the redemptive love of God. He will ask Hosea to take Gomer back time and time again. God continues to pursue.
No matter what we have done, no matter how sinful we are in the eyes of God, He still pursues us because of WHO HE IS and who He has designed us to be through His Son Jesus. It’s because of His Mercy and Grace!
Even when we run away from Him, God still pursues us. He sets our days with divine interruptions so that we can’t help but see His amazing love that is waiting.
He draws us through His everlasting love. He calls out to us. Even when we are full of pain, hurt and sometimes experiencing anger, He still knows exactly where we are and wants to bring total healing. He wants to make us whole or complete in Him.
Like Hosea, God is still pursing His children—like a faithful husband who pursues a wife he adores and loves. This is a greater picture than I have ever seen on any Valentine’s Day card—and it is the only love that can fill the void that was placed in you and I in the first place. It is a place for God. It is the only place where all our needs can be truly met.
While many are running to dating services, some are going to bars to look for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some are going to church, not to seek the Lord, but to find a mate. We’re often looking for a relationship to fill the deepest need that can only be filled by God. All have been created to need love and be pursued. All need affirmation.
Stop looking in all the wrong places for love, and learn to be amazed by God’s love. In the process, you may also meet a great person here on earth that loves God and you too. God knows how to orchestrate the days of our lives and bring a special person across our path for destiny. First and foremost our most important relationship will be with Jesus, our beloved.
Ultimately, Jesus is the greatest love you will ever find and receive. His love overshadows every hurt and longing of your soul. It is the most magnificent love that goes beyond what words can describe. It is the greatest romance and the BIBLE is God’s love letter to us all. God goes to extraordinary measures to reveal Himself to ordinary people—that includes us all!
HE LOVES YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE!
THE AMAZING LOVE OF GOD
HIS LOVE LETTER TO YOU—The Perfect Valentine’s Day card! The Bible!
You might be wondering in your heart, “How could God love me after what I’ve been
through” to “how could God love me after I all have done?” The truth is—God loves
you unconditionally and sent His Son Jesus to redeem mankind through the finished
work on the Cross of Calvary. His precious blood paid the high price, once and for all
for the sins of the world.
In order to understand the Book of Hosea, we must understand some background.
The name “Hosea” means