Hosea 5:15 – I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.
The Lord had instructed Hosea to marry and when she left him for another man, the Lord instructed him to redeem her back so that all the people would know that ‘the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods.’ Before God renewed the union with Israel, he wanted them to realise and understand their guilt. At Mount Sinai the Lord said, “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine.” And the people answered, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Ex19). Israel made her covenant; she said ‘I do’ and became betrothed to the Lord God. Now she has broken her vow and she is standing before the Lord as he brings his accusation toward her.
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish.
This was not the bride from Sinai; she was now completely defiled and yet, God did not stop loving Israel. All he wanted was to redeem his people back to their rightful place. Can you imagine that depth of forgiveness? What Israel had done was enough to completely separate them from God, for ‘their deeds do not permit them to return to their God; they have dealt faithlessly with the Lord.’
God’s accusation could be delivered to every generation and it wouldn’t be out of place. This is the truth and sad reality of our condition and any judgement sent from God would be justified. God, in his graciousness, would rather hand out mercy than judgement and although our deeds do not permit us access to his presence, he has made a way for us to be with him always. Firstly, though, we need to acknowledge our guilt and seek his face.
Why do we find it so difficult to be faithful to God? Have you ever found sustained happiness and fulfilment in earthly desires? I know I haven’t and yet I still get drawn to things that appeal to the senses and the desires of the heart. The devil is crafty and cunning and he will entice you with things that seem harmless on the surface but will ultimately take your focus off the Lord.
Faithfulness and steadfast love toward God come from a true knowledge of God. Get to know the one who loves you with all of his heart; the one who will never betray you; the one who will never let you go.