Scandalous Love

Does God really love us like some people say???

I often hear people say that they do not think God could love them because….

Most of the time it has to do with some kind of sin they have committed or just the fact that they don’t fit the “class” of folk that are associated with the term “church people.”

However, God loves them more than they realize and it’s not based off of having it all together.

God’s love for us in scandalous indeed.  I mean, even at our best we still fall short of holiness.  If we have broken one command, we have broken them all.  Yet, He still loves us!

The book of Hosea gives us a great picture of God’s love for his people.  It is definitely scandalous.  In fact, if it were a current event story, it would be on every news channel.

Hosea 1:2–When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”

God asks the prophets to do some crazy stuff…but dude!

I mean, right now my friends and I are going through Ezekiel, and God had him lay on his side for over a year…crazy stuff.  But Hosea’s task is just crazy to me–intentionally go out and marry a woman who he knows will leave him for sexual encounters with a host of other men. Crazy!

Why does God make Hosea do this shameful, scandalous task?

–The clue is right here in this same verse:

Hosea 1:2–When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”

One of the most common biblical metaphors for the relationship between God and Israel is that of a marriage: God as the loving husband and Israel as His bride. But Israel has been an unfaithful spouse, forsaking God and running after the gods of wood and stone that their pagan neighbors worshiped. Rather than relying on God’s provision and love, they sought the comfort and pleasures of Canaanite idolatry, which in the ancient world often involved sexual promiscuity. The Israelite’s broke the covenant that God made with them at Sinai—a covenant where they pledged fidelity by having or making other gods, particularly gods made in their own image.

So, in Chapter one we see Hosea takes this adulterous woman to be his wife, who continues to be married to him, and she begins to get pregnant, one after another. In Chapter 2 we see that these children are not even his but are from her sleeping around.   –Hosea stays and remains faithful to her despite her sleeping around.

So, you’re probably thinking–but how can this compare to us, we are nothing like this.

Has He not called us to love him only?  That he is a jealous God, that he wants our love in return.  I mean the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

Think about it–Our heart represents the things that we love.  What are some things we love.  Well, we say all the time that we love pizza, we love that new car, we love to watch that new show, we love to hang out. Now we would argue with that to say that this is just an expression to say how much we enjoy something.  But really what we love the most will be shown by time and energy.  What we spend most of our free time doing, that occupies our minds the most, or talk about this is what we love.  So how much of that time is spent on God.  Are we not sleeping around with the things of the earth instead of loving God most of the time?  With all our soul—our emotions? With all our mind.  What is your mind spent on? So, yes I can easily see that this could be us.

He gives us a perfect picture of His love for us. The most scandalous love, because we see that throughout this whole time of sleeping around, knowing she’s doing it, He remains faithful and provides for her so that she will come back to him.

She is stripped of everything until she realizes all that she really loved and enjoyed was actually from Hosea the whole time.  Not from those other things or other men.

We see the great picture of this in chapter 3…

Imagine a slave auction:

All the wealthy men of business, landowners, royal princes, and great stewards arrive and take their seats of honor. The auctioneers first bring out the young strong men—able bodies, the skilled laborers, the educated craftsmen, and even the scholars.

Next, they bring out the beautiful young women—household servants and servants of royal courts. The wealthy then make their purchases for 30 pieces of silver and leave.

Then the poorer and least respectable buyers step forward to purchase servants and slaves for the jobs the poor will not do—common laborers for filthy and dangerous jobs. They make their purchases for about 10-20 pieces of silver because they are considered less than humans.

And then the vile men step forward to make their purchases. They buy men for jobs where the slaves are not expected to live—the old, the weak, those whose worth is considered so small and their price so low that their loss is considered no loss at all.  These are sold for 5 pieces, maybe even down to 1 piece of silver.

Then the women of the same caliber are brought out—poor, destitute, filthy, and sold for their debts—those whose lives are already wrecked by immorality, but who are now bought to be used by vile men.

Finally, a woman is brought out—old, haggard and vile, years of promiscuity, immorality, and service as a prostitute has left her wrinkled, used, and shamed. She is now on the other end of life. Opposite of the younger women that are being sold into slavery that day.

The scene is embarrassing.  Those purchasing young and middle aged women for exploiting even turn away with a sneer and disgust. The poor widows looking for an old woman servants to care for the house, and children turn away repulsed by her vileness.

She stands there, as all the slaves did, naked, vile, shamed, ugly, old beyond her years, and worthless in the eyes of all who see her. No longer does her nakedness draw the lust of men.  In fact, even the buyers and sellers of flesh are disgusted by her haggardness.

Then the auctioneer begins to ask if anyone will offer anything.

No one speaks up.

No one would after a lifetime of being used as an object by men. None of her lovers would even take her for free.

Would anyone pay even 1 coin of any kind for her?

Then, in the back of the crowd a man comes forth—well dressed, strongly respected, and honored among the people, he moves through the crowd.

Surely this is not a buyer coming forth.  Not of his stature for sure.

Then his voice thunders above the crowd…

“30 PIECES OF SILVER!!!” (which is only offered for the best)

Wow! What an extravagant and scandalous love…

And God, with the same love looks at us! With compassion in His eyes and thunder in his voice, He pursues us to the ends of the earth to redeem us back to HIM!

Romans 5:6-8–For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

At our weakest moments—when we give in, when we are not measuring up, when it seems like all is lost, God’s voice thunders! I LOVE YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE!

“BUT I don’t deserve it!” Your right! You don’t! No one deserves the love of God.

Because…

Isaiah 53:6–All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;

OHHH BUT GOD…

Ephesians 2:2-7–And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Receive His extravagant love right now!

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