Do you have a favorite love story?
Some people think that the Bible is a great big list of rules. They think that the Bible tells us all the things we need to do, or not do, in order for God to love us. But that is not what the Bible is at all. The Bible is actually God’s great big love story. It is the story of how much he loves us even when we don’t love and obey him in return.
There’s a story in the Old Testament that shows us how much God loves us even though we don’t always love him back. It’s in the book of Hosea. Can you find the book of Hosea in the Bible?
Hosea was a prophet who warned God’s people Israel about their idolatry. Do you remember what idolatry is? Idolatry is worshiping false gods instead of worshiping the one true God. The Israelites weren’t faithful or loyal to God. They wanted to fit in with the other people around them, and so they did really bad things, disobeyed God, and even worshiped the idols of the other people instead of God.
God wanted to show Israel how sad their sin made him, so God asked Hosea to marry a sinful woman named Gomer. Gomer would not love Hosea very well. She would not be faithful to him. She did all kinds of bad things. She even left Hosea and went and lived with a different man. She treated her husband, Hosea, just like Israel treated God.
Do you ever treat God this way? Do you ever love other things more than God? We all do sometimes don’t we?
But God never stops loving us, and he never stopped loving Israel. To picture how much he loved his people, God told Hosea to go get back his unfaithful wife, Gomer. So Hosea went to the other man’s house and paid the other man to get his wife back. Wow. Hosea didn’t let Gomer go. He didn’t give up on her. And he would even pay to get her back. And that is exactly what God does for us. Listen to how God talks about his relationship with Israel in Hosea chapter 2:
19 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. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
The word “betrothed” means engaged. Have you ever known an engaged couple? To be engaged means you have promised to marry each other and to love each other forever. And that is exactly what God has done with us. He is engaged to us. He has promised to marry us one day and live happily ever after with us. Not because we are so lovable. Nope. We’re like Gomer. But Jesus is like Hosea. Jesus bought us back when he paid for our sins on the cross. Jesus never gave up on us. Jesus wants to make us his heavenly bride. And one day Jesus will come for us and take us to live with him forever in his great big house and we will live happily ever after. We will finally love Jesus just as much as he loves us.
Because of Jesus I know God will always love me no matter what bad things I do.
With Jesus I can learn to love God just as much as he loves us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch this trailer for Beauty and the Beast together. Talk about how love stories like this can teach us about unconditional love and how being loved can change us, just like Jesus’ love for us will change us.
You are like Hosea who loves me even when I don’t always love you back. Thank you for never giving up on me.
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