When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.”
(Hosea 1:2 NASB)



How many times did God try to call his bride -- Israel -- back to him? Over and over there were pleas for Israel to be faithful to God. Now, God asks Hosea to marry a prostitute so that his relationship with his wife can be a living example of the infidelity of God's people. And God's heart, as well as that of Hosea, is broken!



We have seen the devastating effects of infidelity on relationships. The pain and the damage which ensues is much worse than most people ever imagine. It all begins so simply -- a simply flirtation -- or simply hanging out or spending time with someone other than the one to whom you have committed your life. The Israelites did not plan to go after foreign gods. However, Solomon flirted with other women -- women who had their own gods. It began with marriages which he justified as helping to strengthen the kingdom by setting up political alliances. He didn't plan to have the gods of those women become a permanent fixture in Israel, and yet, eventually they were. Now, the Israelites were prostituting themselves by worshiping the gods of the other nations.

The Bible begins with a marriage. Adam and Eve's relationship, before the fall, was a representation of God's desire of fidelity between humans and with God. Sadly, self-centeredness changed everything and all the relationships became distorted. Humanity's relationship with God was marred by infidelity -- and the human to human relationship of Adam and Eve was distorted. However, all of this does not need to be an excuse for us -- that this is the way things must be. Half-way through the Bible we are given the picture of an incredibly intimate relationship in the "Song of Solomon." Sometimes the descriptions here make us uncomfortable and yet, this picture of intimacy is a foreshadowing of the restored relationship of humanity to God through Christ. When Christ would come the intimate Bride-Bridegroom relationship between God and man could be restored. This was the hope of "fidelity" which would come through Christ, resulting in the final chapter of the Bible where we find the Spirit and the bride inviting all to come.

God's intention for humanity has always been fidelity -- fidelity to him and to one another. This is only possible when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and live in an intimate relationship with Christ, our bridegroom, on a daily basis.



Lord, thank you for your incredible love which draws me near to you. Please, help me stay close! Amen.


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