Colin Smith

Colin Smith is Senior Pastor of The Orchard in northwest suburban Chicago.

Love is Not Blind

We’re not to think that the Lord was telling Hosea to phone up some dating agency and ask for the lady with the worst reputation.  We may reasonably assume that Hosea had already come to know Gomer, had fallen in love with her and that he was planning to marry her.  Now, shortly before the wedding, God tells Hosea what the future will hold.

Imagine what this must have been like.  It’s one week before the wedding and Hosea has a dream.  It’s no an ordinary dream; he knows that God is speaking to him.  In his dream he sees Gomer with another man, and then another.  He wakes up in a cold sweat.  Surely this cannot be the future!  But somehow he knows that God is revealing what lies ahead.

Hosea is horrified yet, at the same time, he knows that God is telling him to go ahead with the wedding, “So he married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim” (Hosea 1:3).  He chose to marry in the full knowledge of the pain that lay ahead.

Picture the wedding service

“We are gathered here today,” the pastor says, “...to join Hosea and Gomer in marriage.  If anyone knows of any reason why they may not be lawfully joined together in marriage let them speak now or else keep silent forever.”

Then the pastor turns to Diblaim, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”   He responds,“I do.”  If Gomer had been as difficult at home as she turned out to be after she was married, I imagine he must have been very relieved to get her to the alter!

The pastor continues, “Hosea, will you take Gomer to be your wife, to have and to hold from this day forward?  For better, for worse...”  Hosea must have had a lump in his throat.  He knew that he was signing up for worse, not better days ahead.  But without hesitation he says, “I will.”

Then the pastor turns and looks at Gomer, “Will you have Hosea to be your husband? Will you love him, honor and obey him, and forsaking all others, keep only to him as long as you both shall live?”  Hosea looks her in the eye, and without hesitation she says, “I will.”  Hosea knows she won’t!  But Hosea chooses to marry her anyway.

What would you have done?

Over the years I have listened to many people tell me that if they had known the pain that the future would hold they would never have made the commitment they did.  Maybe that is how you are feeling today.  If so, then you have a unique insight into the heart of God.

God is saying, “This is what I have done.  I made a commitment to my people in the full knowledge that they would be unfaithful and that they would bring indescribable pain.”

Lift your mind to take in the magnificence of the love of God. 

God knew before the beginning of time that we would choose the knowledge of evil, and that the whole thing would lead to God himself taking human flesh, entering our world and being rejected in it.  It would lead to indescribable suffering and pain in the heart of God.  But He went ahead and did it anyway.

Think about Israel.  God set His love on these people.  He said to them, “I will be your God and you will be my people” (Jeremiah 7:23).  He invited them into an exclusive covenant relationship, knowing that they would be hard-hearted, stubborn and faithless.

Think about yourself.  Maybe you have been a Christian for many years.  You love Christ.  But you love a lot else besides.  Does it not strike you as amazing that God should have committed Himself to us in the full knowledge of how slow and unresponsive and selfish and stubborn and proud we are?

“While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  He took you on in the full knowledge of who you are.  That is why there is a profound sense in which it is never possible to disappoint God.  Take the deepest most consistent failure in your life—He loved you in the full knowledge of that.

This Week's Scripture: “When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ‘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

 

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You can also follow Colin Smith and Unlocking the Bible on Facebook and Twitter.  

This LifeKey is based on the message “Love,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, delivered December 3, 2000, from the series “Unlocking the Bible.” Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.

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About Colin Smith

Colin Smith is Senior Pastor of The Orchard in northwest suburban Chicago. Before coming to the United States in 1996, Colin served as Senior Pastor of the Enfield Evangelical Free Church in London for 16 years. He is heard daily on the radio broadcast Unlocking the Bible, speaks regularly at preaching conferences, and is the author of more than two dozen books and booklets. Follow Pastor Colin on Twitter @PastorColinS, and Unlocking the Bible @UnlckngtheBible.

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