“Go, Love” ( Hosea 3: 1, Lexham ) by Carley Evans


And Yahweh said to me again,

“Go, love a woman
who has a lover and is committing adultery,
just like the love of Yahweh for the children of Israel.
Out in the world at large are two seemingly opposing views of God: one view is that God is so holy that He hates sin and desires to destroy all those who commit sin; the other view is that God is so loving that He loves sinners and desires to save all who commit sin. These two views of God are correct. The paradox is in the story of Hosea asked by God to marry an adulterous woman to show forth both sides of the same coin – God’s holiness and God’s love.
God calls sin what it is; that is, sin. God clearly tells Hosea the woman is guilty and to marry her despite her guilt.
God also loves sinners. God clearly tells Hosea that He loves the children of Israel despite the fact they are as guilty as the adulterous woman.
If God doesn’t hate sin, why does He punish Jesus, His only Son? If God doesn’t love sinners, why does Jesus leave Heaven to come to earth for that punishment? Why does God bother to die on the Cross unless He loves sinners?
And so, God calls us to two sides of the same coin. He calls us to hate and avoid sin while simultaneously loving and approaching the sinner.
“Go, love.”

“Fierce In Wrath” ( Nahum 1: 2, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


God is an avenging and jealous Lord; taking vengeance — “fierce in wrath.” Though He “is slow to anger;” He is “great in power” and “never leaves the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3)

The Lord proclaims, “I kill them with the Words of My mouth. My judgment strikes like lightning. For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But they, like Adam, violate My covenant; there they betray Me.” (Hosea 6:5-7)

“I depart,” says God, “and return to My place until they recognize their guilt and seek My face; they search for Me in their distress.” (Hosea 5:15)

The Lord says, “Seek Me and live!” (Amos 5:4) “Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord, the God of Hosts, will be with you, as you claim. Hate evil and love good; establish justice.” (Amos 5:14-15)

Then, we repent. “Come,” we say to each other, “let us return to the Lord. For He tears us, and He heals us; He wounds us, and He binds up our wounds. He revives us after two days, and on the third day He raises us up so we live in His presence. Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is sure as the dawn. He comes to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” (Hosea 6:1-3)

His Name is Jesus, and He is “the One who comforts.” (Isaiah 51:12) He is the One who “is pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities, punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” (Isaiah 53:5)

By His sacrifice, God’s fierce wrath is satisfied.

“Betrothed To God” (Hosea 3: 1, ESV) by Carley Evans


God promises, “I will betroth you to Me forever. I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.” (Hosea 2: 19 – 20)

God tells Hosea to “go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”

Hosea obeys. He buys his woman. He tells his new wife that she must “dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” (Hosea 3: 3) Hosea compares her to the children of Israel, saying they will “return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to His goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3: 5)

God is betrothing His children to Himself forever, that is — for always. He is betrothing His children in righteousness, justice, steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness. Whom do we suppose has these qualities? The children of God or God Himself?

Hosea is the husband who marries the adulteress. God is the Righteous Judge who marries sinners to Himself — giving them His Name forever. As a result, these sinners will come to “know the Lord.”

God says, “And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, you are My people; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’ ” (Hosea 2: 23)