Many people in the world do not realise they are loved. The main point of the whole Bible is God’s love. ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8).
‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.’ (1 John 4:19).
All love is from God. Hosea also speaks of this.
What is the character of God’s love?
- God’s love is for sinners.
God wanted Hosea to tell Israel how much God loved them. God wants Hosea to marry Gomer, an adulteress, which he did. They had children. However, she left him for another man (Hosea chapter 1).How do we know Gomer left Hosea? We are told Hosea had to ‘Go again’ and bring her back, ‘And the Lord said to me, “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 3:1). The Lord still wanted Hosea to go again to Gomer. Israel repeatedly sinned but God loved them. Gomer gave an opportunity to a lover to love her. She should have resisted temptation. We should resist temptation too, we shouldn’t give any opportunity to Satan.
‘Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness.’ (2 Peter 1:5-6). There are lots of temptations in our lives. Satan wants us to sin. The enemy, the devil, looks for someone to devour. Eve gave an opportunity to the serpent. Joseph didn’t give in to Potiphar’s wife, that’s why God blessed him. Satan is always offering opportunities to make us sin and depart from God. But God loves us, even though people depart from Him. The Prodigal Son left home but the father did not give up on him and was always waiting for him to return. This is God’s love. This story tells us God never gives up on us. God is unchanging.
Hosea had to buy Gomer as if she was a slave, ‘So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.’ (Hosea 3:2). We were all born sinners. When we were slaves of Satan, God sent us His only son, Jesus Christ. He bought us for Himself when He died on the cross to save us.
‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him’ (John 3:16-17). To save us, God shows us His love in action.
After Hosea bought Gomer back he told her, ‘You 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). Just as Hosea married Gomer, a slave, we are sinners too. God commanded Hosea to marry an adulteress to show how much He loves Israel, ‘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.’ (Hosea 2:19).
Jesus is our bridegroom. All Christians are the bride. To be the bride of Jesus Christ is a great, great blessing. ‘And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ (Revelation 21:2). God’s love never changes. He shows His love by His actions.
- God’s love is a great grace.
‘For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterwards the children of Israel shall 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 3:4-5). The culture will slowly perish as Israel departs from God, but the Israelites will come back to the Lord. How? They knew God will forgive. This is the great grace of God’s love. We must repent, say sorry to God, of our sins so we can be forgiven because God loves us. God’s love is a steadfast love, a great grace.
What a difference between other religions and Christianity; in other religions people have to do good things. We do nothing, God does everything for us! God loves us.
God is love. Know it in your heart. Remember, God’s love never ever changes. God is ever with us. No matter what troubles we have, He is with us in all circumstances. Sometimes we forget because we are weak, but as believers we should know God loves us all the time. Right now. We must love God because He loves us. Jesus Christ died on the cross even though He had no sin. God is love in action, God’s love is unchangeable, God’s love is a great grace.