By Rev. Jeremiah Cheung
From Hosea Chapter 3:1-5
3:1 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 and love the sacred raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” 4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5 Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
The Lord wants the prophet to love an adulteress, not another woman, but his own wife who had run away with her lover. She had been sold as a slave by her lover and is now in the slave market. The Lord instructed the prophet to go and buy her back. The prophet bought his wife back at the price of a slave. The Lord used these events to show the Israelites how wonderful His love is towards them. In these five verses, we can see the four wonderful aspects of God’s love:
First: God’s love is unconditional
The prophet’s wife was an adulteress. Again and again, she betrayed her husband until finally, she was abandoned and sold at the slave market. One can hardly find anything lovable about such a person. Yet God’s love is unconditional; He loves because God is love. God’s love for us has nothing to do with how lovable we are.
Second: God’s love comes at a price.
Verse 2 says, “So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.” The prophet paid 15 shekels of silver and a homer and a lethek of barley to buy back his wife. In the same way, God so loved the world and gave us His only begotten Son. God’s love is a love that pays the price.
Third: God’s love is committed love
Verse 3 says, “Then I told her, ‘You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.’” The prophet asked his wife to stop her unfaithfulness and commit herself to him. He asked her to live alone with him and to keep her purity, and he committed to do the same towards her. The prophet is committing to be faithful to his redeemed, adulterous wife. God ’s love is committed love. We often lose faith in God, but He never loses faith in us. God has never given up on us despite our weaknesses and failures because early on, He had pledged to love us with committed love.
Fourth: God’s love is a love that hopes
Verse 5 says, “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.” God has never lost hope for the Israelites, because love always hopes. God knows that, “They will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days.”
What a wonderful thing God’s love is!
In our most unlovable state, God continues to love us. In the most hopeless of situations, God’s love still holds out hope. Because of God’s love, He paid a heavy price for us. There is no one who cannot be cleansed by the blood of His one and only Son. The love of God will save you as long as you are willing to respond. Are you willing?
何等奇妙的愛 | 何西亞書
3:1 耶和華對我說: 你再去愛一個淫婦, 就是她情人所愛的, 好像以色列人, 雖然偏向別神, 喜愛葡萄餅, 耶和華還是愛他們。2 我便用銀子十五舍客勒, 大麥一賀梅珥半, 買她歸我。3 我對她說: 你當多日為我獨居, 不可行淫, 不可歸別人為妻, 我向你也必這樣。4 以色列人也必多日獨居, 無君王, 無首領, 無祭祀, 無柱像, 無以弗得, 無家中的神像。5 後來以色列人必歸回, 尋求他們的神耶和華和他們的王大衛, 在末後的日子, 必以敬畏的心歸向耶和華, 領受他的恩惠。
神要先知再去愛一個淫婦, 不是另外一個女人, 就是先知的妻子歌蔑, 她已經跟情夫走了, 但卻又被情夫賣作奴僕, 現在已經在奴隸市場了, 神對先知說, 你去買好回來, 先知就用一個奴隸的價錢將他的妻子再買回來, 神要藉這事來告訴以色列人, 神對他們的愛是何等的奇妙, 在這五節的經文裡, 我們可以看見神的愛有四方面的奇妙：
先知的妻子是一個淫婦, 一次又一次背叛她的丈夫, 最後淪落在奴隸的市場裡, 這樣的人根本沒有任何可愛之處, 但神的愛卻是無條件, 神愛因為神本身就是愛, 神愛我們根本不是我們本身有可愛之處。
3:2 我便用銀子十五舍客勒, 大麥一賀梅珥半, 買她歸我。先知付出了銀子十五舍客勒與大麥一賀梅珥半, 將妻子再買回來。神愛世人也將祂獨生子賜給我們, 神的愛是付出代價的愛。
3:3 我對她說: 你當多日為我獨居, 不可行淫, 不可歸別人為妻, 我向你也必這樣。先知要求他的妻子要對他委身, 不可再歸別人, 為要考驗她, 要她多日獨居, 保守自己聖潔的身體; 先知說: 我向你也必這樣。先知也向這位從淫亂歸來的妻子委身。神的愛就是委身的愛, 我們常常對神失信, 但神卻從不失信於我們, 神從來沒有因為我們的軟弱失敗而放棄過我們, 因祂早已用委身的愛來愛我們了。
3:5 後來以色列人必歸回, 尋求他們的神耶和華和他們的王大衛, 在末後的日子, 必以敬畏的心歸向耶和華, 領受他的恩惠。在末後竹日子, 神對以色列人從來沒有失望過, 因為神對他們有盼望, 愛裡面總有盼望的, 神說: 將來他們必以敬畏的心歸向我, 領受他的恩惠。
在沒有可愛的條下, 神仍然愛我們; 在沒有盼望下, 神的愛仍有盼望; 因為神為我們付出極重的代價, 在祂的獨生子的寶血裡, 沒有不能潔淨你人, 只要你願意回應, 神的愛必能拯救你回來, 你願意嗎?