In Free Indeed’s Praying the Attributes of God Challenge we are praising God for being our Redeemer. What does that mean?
- a person who brings goodness, honor, etc., to something again
- a person who frees another from captivity by payment of ransom
- a person who releases another from blame or debt
These definitions are loaded, and God dynamically displays them all in Hosea. Take a glimpse at the book’s key themes, and read it on your own with new eyes. The book’s language may appear rough, but its picture of redemption is striking and full of God’s steadfast love.
Hosea’s Personal Drama (Chapters 1-3)
To start the book, the Lord tells the prophet Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer, who will symbolize God’s people Israel straying into spiritual idolatry and rebellion.
Despite her marriage, Gomer tragically goes wandering, seeking to satisfy her desires with false gods, other men and material excess – becoming an adulteress. Hosea 2:5
Her exuberant dream crashes to a halt when the woman finds herself a penniless, hopeless slave, and in debt to her lovers – similar to what Israel will suffer from its sin.
It is in this rock-bottom situation that the Lord again speaks in grace, commanding Hosea to remain faithful, to buy Gomer back to again be his own! To imagine such a scene is nothing short of shocking.
The prophet redeems Gomer, returning her to a place of honor despite her shame, and God promises to love Israel in the same way. Hosea 3:1
Upon further reflection, the story’s application hits home.
God’s mercy shines bright in this dark situation.
And the reality is: I am Gomer! You are Gomer!
We are people that have gone astray, yearning for fulfillment in empty places, abandoning the One who loves us most – our Creator. We are lost sinners.
An yet God the Father looked upon us, His fallen people, and desired to buy us back, to return us to Him that we may worship Him. His Son Jesus paid the price for this redemption, all to His glory.
He is the Mighty and Loving Redeemer. Hallelujah!
God’s grace toward Gomer highlights that He can restore something pitiful back to something wonderful.No one is beyond God's redeeming power! He brings beauty from ashes. Click To Tweet
The Lord loves to redeem in a real and personal way.
As indeed He says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” Romans 9:25
And finally, His redemption leads to a righteous relationship with Him. See Hosea 3:3-5
Let’s see more truths in the text.
3 Moving Truths of God’s Redemption in Hosea:
Keep in mind that in context God spoke these promises to the nation of Israel, but their messages reflect the Gospel of Christ.
1. Discipline Is A Doorway To Hope
“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… Hosea 2:14-15
Much of the book of Hosea is God speaking in judgment, for He is holy, and righteously grieved over Israel’s severe offenses. Yet here, in this sweet spot, God speaks to the nation in a intimate manner as if it were his wife. See Hosea 11:3-4
Why? Take a look at the last statement. The “Valley of Achor,” which literally means “Valley of Trouble,” is a reference to Joshua 7:24, when God violently removed Achan and his family from among the people, warning the others about the cost of disobedience.
Though God’s judgment appears harsh, for those who repent it is a welcomed opportunity for salvation and growth. He disciplines those He loves! Hebrews 12:6
If you are willing, God can use your Valley of Trouble for His glory. He can bring about a redeemed future.
He uses discipline to break our harmful habits, and restore our broken relationship with Him.Discipline is a doorway to hope. By correcting us, God opens the opportunity to return to Him. Click To Tweet
True love, which is God, does not rejoice in wrongdoing. 1 Corinthians 13:6 And the righteous person listens to reproof. Proverbs 15:31
2. God’s Redemption is Final and Forever
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 2:19-20
What’s the purpose of this betrothal? That we know God for who He is, in His full majesty.
Once with the Lord, repentant and healed of your sins through Jesus, you are His for eternity. The church is His prized bride. Nothing can snatch you out of His hand! John 10:28
Though we will encounter spiritual warfare and difficulties, God has forged an everlasting bond with us. His faithfulness never falters, but instead uses rocky situations to magnify our knowledge of His glory and love.
3. The Lord Makes His Redeemed New
I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. Hosea 14:1-7
God heals, God loves freely, and this leads to blossoming and flourishing. What lovely imagery of Christ’s redemption. We are fresh creatures all because of Jesus, washed completely clean of the past that condemned us and darkened us. 2 Corinthians 5:17
This poetic language reflects the truth that new life springs out of a heart redeemed by the Lord. Perfect love and heavenly reward come to those who fear and trust the God of Hosea!New life springs out of a heart redeemed by the Lord! Click To Tweet
I pray that You trust Him today, for He is a Mighty Redeemer that sets captives free.
I highly recommended this novel, which creatively shares Hosea and Gomer’s story: