Unlimited: My Loved One
Mar 23, 2023 1177
As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” (Romans 9:25).
Paul’s reference to the story of Hosea is powerful in this context. Hosea was an Old Testament prophet who God used by turning his life into a living illustration of God’s love for the nation.
Shockingly, God told Hosea to marry a prostitute called Gomer. After their marriage, Gomer continued being unfaithful, yet God insistently told Hosea to keep going after her, to love her, and to continually welcome her back home:
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods… (Hos. 3:1.)
You are God’s loved one.
In this tortured relationship, Hosea represented God, and Gomer represented God’s people, Israel. Like Gomer, the history of Israel was one of constant unfaithfulness against God. They continually left God for idols. Yet God had patiently and lovingly called them back continually throughout their history.
There is a paradox in Paul’s quotation here from Hosea. Israel had willingly broken their relationship with God, by giving themselves to another, following other gods. It was they who had broken the covenant with God, as Gomer had broken her marriage covenant with Hosea. Yet God will still claim Israel as his people, because he had called her and loved her.
Although humanly-speaking, we would have put limits on Hosea’s love for Gomer, the lesson here is that the love of God has no limits. God’s love doesn’t quit. His love is passionate and relentless, pursuing us, even when it seems that all is lost, to save us from ourselves. How can you apply the story of Hosea and Gomer to your own life?