The Lord said to [Hosea] again, “Go, show your love to a woman loved by someone else, who has been unfaithful to you.” – Hosea 3:1

God will not let you go. He has handcuffed himself to you in love. And he owns the only key. You need not win his love. You already have it. And since you can’t win it, you can’t lose it.

As evidence, consider exhibit A: the stubborn love of Hosea for Gomer. Contrary to the name, Gomer was a female, an irascible woman married to a remarkable Hosea. She had the fidelity code of a prairie jackrabbit, flirting and hopping from one lover to another. She ruined her life and shattered Hosea’s heart. Destitute, she was placed for sale in a slave market. Guess who stepped forward to buy her? Hosea, who’d never removed his wedding band. The way he treated her you would have thought she’d never loved another man. God uses this story, indeed orchestrated this drama, to illustrate his steadfast love for his fickle people.

Then God ordered [Hosea], “Start all over: Love your wife again, your wife who’s in bed with her latest boyfriend, your cheating wife. Love her the way I, God, love the Israelite people, even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.” (Hosea 3:1 MSG)

This is the love described in John 3:16. Hasaq is replaced with the Greek term agape, but the meaning is equally powerful. “God so [agapao] the world … “

Agape love. Less an affection, more a decision; less a feeling, more an action. As one linguist describes, “[Agape love is] an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.”

Stated more simply: junkyard wrecks and showroom models share equal space in God’s garage.

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