Have you been unfaithful to the Lord? He loves you still. Will you allow Him to betroth you in faithfulness?
The following picture, even if PG, is risque for this site, but there is a reason I chose it. Our culture understands the stance and implications conveyed by the model in this image.
Ads are filled with such images because in the words of a marketing instructor at a seminar I once attended, “Sex sales.”
So, why am I trying to get you to visualize and think about sex or sexual immorality?
Consider for a moment the negative connotations we associate with marital unfaithfulness, promiscuity, and other sexual immorality.
With that in mind, let us look at an old prophetic message found in the book of Hosea:
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. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
Talk about an odd way to deliver a message to God’s people! Can you imagine the gossip!
Talking About Hosea’s Actions | Unfaithful, Promiscuous, Prostitute
I imagine people would have been talking/gossiping about Hosea’s marriage to the prostitute. It could of went like this:
Jonathan: Hey! Did you hear what that nut Hosea has done? He went and married that prostitute, Gomer. You know, the one down on the corner of Prophecy St. and Judgment Ave.? Yeah! Her! He even got her pregnant!
Benjamin: What is he thinking!?! Every one knows Gomer for what she is. She is a WHORE!
Jonathan: Oh, it gets better! He claims the Lord TOLD him to do it.
Benjamin: No way! Like God would ask one of us to defile ourselves in such a manner. She’s unclean!
Jonathan: Well, that’s the rub. Hosea claims the Lord directed him to marry a prostitute to symbolize how we, God’s people, have been unfaithful to our Lord.
[Names used are fictitious and do not represent actual persons, Biblical or otherwise.]
The Whore | Unfaithful, Promiscuous, Prostitute
The image at the top of this post is suggestive of sex and prompted us to consider the sinful acts of adultery, fornication, unfaithfulness, and immorality.
In the day of Hosea, that image symbolized the Jews — enticing and posing in a manner to fulfill their desires and personal gain without regard for God’s.
As I read the passage today, I cannot help but see parallels in my life and today’s culture. The symbolism of God’s people whoring themselves can poignantly apply to you and me.
[clickToTweet tweet=”When we are unfaithful to God, we are the adulteress. We are the whore. ” quote=”When we are unfaithful to God, we are the adulteress. We are the whore. (See Hosea 1:2)”]
The Warning | Unfaithful, Promiscuous, Prostitute
Hosea’s prophecy warns of what will happen to those who keep to their adulterous ways:
Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, ‘These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.’
I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them. And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD.
Hosea 2:10-13. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
These verses represent just a portion of the warning given to those choosing to live unfaithfully. The judgment that will come upon them will strip them bare and affect generations to come.
Fortunately, for the initial recipients of Hosea’s, God-directed message, and for us, it does not end with verse 13 of chapter 2. If so, we would all be without hope.
Grace Steps In | Unfaithful, Promiscuous, Prostitute
Following the reprimand and grave warning of judgment, Grace and Love step in. God, having corrected His people, then pursues and woos them:
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.
Hosea 2:14-20. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
God loves each of us beyond what we can understand or conceive. Our unfaithfulness wounds Him. The spiritual adultery in our lives angers him. His desire is for us to rid ourselves of whoring ways, but He loves us still. He corrects us, sometimes punishing us severely, but then He draws us to Him and bathes us in His grace.
[clickToTweet tweet=”God turns our unfaithfulness to faithfulness.” quote=”God turns our unfaithfulness to faithfulness.”]
He holds us close and promises never to let go.
The Fulfillment of the Prophecy | Unfaithful, Promiscuous, Prostitute
Have you been prostituting yourself? Have you been unfaithful and adulterous to the Lord?
He loves you still. In fact, Hosea’s unique message via his betrothal to the whore symbolically points us to the Messiah and His love for each of us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 8:6-11. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
Will we turn from our whoring, unfaithful, wickedness and bathe in His righteousness? Will we allow Him to betroth us in His faithfulness?