One of the things I love most about Christ are His sweet reminders of His love.
Recently, on a night that was quite rough, that had me feeling down, depressed, and praying for any kind of direction or answers, He lead me to a text I hadn’t read in a while. At first, I didn’t quite understand why I was lead there, but after some thought, it made perfect sense.
The text I was lead to was Hosea 2.
Now, if you actually read Hosea 2, it doesn’t start off as a love letter. In the ESV, the first section is titled “Israel’s Unfaithfulness Punished”. If you’re looking for an “encouraging word” from the Lord, this would not be at the forefront of “passages to recommend”. It serves as a reminder of the Holiness and justness of God and is far from “encouraging” in nature. In it, God details how He will punish Israel for being unfaithful to Him.
However, there is a plot twist.
Despite their adultery and unfaithfulness, the Lord shows mercy to Israel.
Hosea 2:14 reads “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” If we skip down to verse 16, we see an important shift in the way God decides to deal with Israel. “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
For those who don’t know, the word Baal’s meaning (plainly put) is “owner”, but it can also mean god or lord. In it, essentially, God is saying that He will be MORE than just our Lord…He will be our HUSBAND.
In the HCSB, verses 19-20 read as follows:
“I will take you to be My wife forever.
I will take you to be My wife in righteousness,
justice, love, and compassion.
I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness,
and you will know Yahweh.”
Can I quickly just let you know that people will disappoint you? Whether it be your parents, your children, your spouse, your friends, or your family, every human being on this planet that ever was and ever will be is flawed and will, at some point, end up disappointing you. I can speak from experience, as I have a bad tendency to expect human beings to love me in a way only God is capable of loving.
Can I be honest with you? My husband messes up sometimes. Hard to believe, right? My husband is just as flawed as I am. I don’t always respond with grace. I don’t always show mercy. I’m notalways the nicest person to be around. My earthly husband isn’t perfect, so I can’t expect him to be. When I read those verses in Hosea yesterday, it was as if God was saying to me “I am your TRUE Husband. Yes, your husband loves you, as do other people in this world, but I am the only One who can TRULY love you with Agape love…so stop expecting it from people that are incapable of being ME.”
The Bible often talks about how the Church is Christ’s Bride. When He died on the cross and, in essence, purchased us, he didn’t just become an owner, as the name “Baal” would convey. He became our ISHI, our Husband. It was an act of love for His bride.
It is why, in Ephesians 5:25, we see Paul command husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church”.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (emphasis mine)
Nobody can be God for you. Only YAHWEH is God.
Trying to put someone in that spot only leads to heartbreak and pain (trust me, I know).
Can you have a wonderful marriage and live (mostly) happily ever after? Yes. God blesses some of His children that way, but He never guarantees it. Can you have an amazing relationship with your parents, your children, your family, or your friends? Of course, but once again, He never once promises everything will be perfect for you.
Can people love you sacrificially? Sure, but it will never match up to the love that Christ has for His church.
It took me years to finally understand that. There is only One that takes that special place in my heart. While I have many in there (like my husband, my parents, my daughter, and more), there is only One who sits on the throne.
My True Husband is Jesus.