Faithful To The Unfaithful – Hosea 2:23

Faithful to the unfaithful - Hosea
Faithful To The Unfaithful - Hosea

Hosea 2:23

I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” Hosea 2:23

God, Why?

Even the most devout Christian is perplexed by Hosea’s story. It’s one of those works that raises a lot of uncomfortable issues. An immediate problem arises: why does God command his own prophet to marry a prostitute? Hosea was given a repentance message to the wandering Israelites, much like Jonah did to the Ninevites. But it is not what God did. The depths of Hosea’s life can be seen as a teaching for all of us.

The first words of God to the prophet Hosea were a command to go and marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her. Hosea faithfully obeyed and married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, with whom they had two sons and a daughter. However, quickly Gomer proved to be an unfaithful wife. The prophet described their rocky marriage in the second chapter when he prophesied on the unfaithfulness of the nation of Israel to God. It is a sad and sordid story.

The Pursuit

He pleaded with her to forgive him (2:2). He threatened to take away her fortune (2:3). Nonetheless, she fled with her boyfriends since they had promised to spoil her materially (2:5). He tried to stop her several times (2:6), but she persisted in seeking her immoral company (2:7). Hosea would return her with loving forgiveness, and they would try once more. Her repentance, though, would be short, and she’d be off with another new boyfriend in no time.

Even when news arrived that Gomer had sold herself as a slave, the undying love that Hosea had for his wife was beyond words. God still encouraged him to show love to her like God was showing love to an unfaithful nation. Hosea searched for her, fueled by the divine indestructive love he had for her. He found her, paid for her and brought her back home.

Faithful To The Unfaithful

The marriage of Hosea and Gomer is a clear representation of our relationship with God. Even when we act like prostitutes and submit to other gods, violate our covenant with Him, or voluntarily become enslaved by the desires of our flesh, God still loves us (1 John 4:16). He faithfully loves all those who are still unfaithful. There is a great deal of comfort found in knowing that God’s love for us is unconditional. He is also ready to go any length and pay any price to have us restored to Him.

We worship a forgiving God who honours his word even when we are unfaithful (Isaiah 43:25). For this same reason, our salvation through Christ is not founded on our merit but on His amazing grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is amazing because, in the presence of God, we are all deserving of His love. God’s word reveals His unbreakable, unfathomable love to the point of death? This love gives birth to life, redemption, and sin-forgiveness. His forgiveness, however, does not justify our failure, for God’s holy love means that there will be consequences for our disobedience.

King James Version (KJV)

“And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”

New International Version (NIV)

“I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah, and I will say to Lo-ammi, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.'”

New American Bible (NASB)

“I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”

English Standard Version (ESV)

“and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;  and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

The Living Bible (TLB)

“At that time I will sow a crop of Israelites and raise them for myself! I will pity those who are ‘not pitied,’ and I will say to those who are ‘not my people,’ ‘Now you are my people’; and they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”