What is your favorite love story?
Some people think that the Bible is a 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 anything that is not 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, they 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 we treat God. But God told Hosea to love Gomer no matter what. And God loves us no matter what. Listen to how God describes his love in Hosea chapter 2:
Hosea 2:19. And I [God] will betroth you [Israel] to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.
The word “betroth” means engaged. Have you ever known an engaged couple? Engaged people have promised to get married and love each other forever. God is engaged to us. He has promised to love us and live with us forever. Not because we are so lovable. Nope. We’re like Gomer. But Jesus is like Hosea. 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.
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
Look at your engagement photos with your kids or tell them the story of how you got engaged. Talk about how Jesus is engaged to us and will one day “marry” us.
Jesus, you are like Hosea who loves me even when I don’t always love you back. Thank you for never giving up on me. Amen.