Departing from the Lord

from Lynda Lindsey

The Lord to Hosea: “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.” Hosea 1:2

“…I will no longer show love to the house of Israel, that I should at all forgive them. Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them—-not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the Lord their God.” Hosea 1:6 (b)-7

“…for you are not my people, and I am not your God.” Hosea 1:9(b)

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this company of witnesses to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His Church,” so begins the marriage vow between husband and wife. Each promises to cleave together in loyalty and faithfulness, forsaking all others, until parted by death. 

Within marriage, to cleave means to adhere to one another, bonded together emotionally in loyalty and faithfulness. The story of faithful Hosea and his adulterous bride is a mirror of faithful God and His people’s unfaithfulness. God’s people broke covenant with God. Time after time God forgave Israel’s idolatry. Time after time, over and over again, Israel played the harlot; finally God left His people alone and without His blessings. Broken fellowship, ruin and exile quickly followed. God saved Judah from Assyria, but the Babylonians eventually conquered Judah. 

Sorrowfully God left His people to their own devices; yet God graciously promised a future restoration. Jesus, at just the right time, would arise from the line of David to seek and to save the lost. Just as Hosea continually sought out his wayward wife and brought her home, so does God seek after us. The Israelites did not cleave to God. They did not forsake all other gods. They married themselves to all that was evil and wicked. Have we too departed from God? Has the Church? Our nation? There is salvation in no other name. His mercies are new every morning. Turn to Him. Return to Him. He eagerly waits!