“Go and love the person who has disappointed you!”
“Huh? No way. I don’t want to be hurt again!”
Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s difficult to love someone with a proven track record of disappointing you. But that’s exactly what God instructed Hosea to do (Hosea 3:1). He was to go and be reconciled to Gomer, even though she didn’t deserve reconciliation. In fact, her actions had negatively affected his reputation and almost ruined their relationship.
In taking the step of obedience, however, Hosea took a risk. In Hosea 3:2, we read that Hosea redeemed Gomer, revealing his love for her. But their relationship didn’t immediately reset back to good times. There was a period of abstaining that Hosea required of his wayward wife (Hosea 3:3). The time was needed for Gomer to change and grow while new spiritual sensitivity replaced old carnality.
One preacher summed it up this way, “[Hosea] redeems her, but it is because he wants to serve her, not make his own life better by gratifying his own ego or needs. He wants to be part of God’s redemptive plan for her recovery spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.”
Hosea’s love for Gomer reflects God’s love for His people. It illustrates “that the Lord still loves Israel” (Hosea 3:1). That same redeeming love was seen when Jesus died on the cross for us (Romans 5:8). He didn’t wait for us to get better and then come looking for Him. He reached out to us. And, as believers, we experience His redeeming love time and time again.
Can we risk loving again? Yes, we can when we remember that a relationship is not just between two persons. There’s an important third Person in the mix—Jesus. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).