Love is Willing
Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, . . .So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver, and a homer and a half of barley.” Hosea 3:1-2
It would be appropriate to suggest that a true test of love might include the following two questions: To what extent are you willing to go to demonstrate your love? And how much are you willing to give up in order to prove it?
The answers from Jesus’ perspective would be: All the way. Everything.
Besides Jesus, the story of Hosea and his wife, Gomer, demonstrates a powerful picture of love that is pressed into action. In the midst of adultery on Gomer’s part, Hosea was commanded by God to seek out his wife, to love her again. The command to “Go again” in verse 1 suggests that this was possibly not even the first time Hosea had to do so. Very few of us could imagine the pain of intentionally seeking out an adulterous spouse in order to restore a marriage.
Verse 2 shows an even deeper love commitment, as Hosea has found Gomer in the city square on an auction block. Gomer’s adulterous life has marginalized her to the point of being sold as a slave. While many could find satisfaction in Gomer’s plight, Hosea shows compassion. At the last moment, Hosea offers everything he has in order to bring Gomer home.
The parallel to Jesus is striking. Even from the Old Testament story of Hosea and Gomer, the extent to which Jesus would be willing to go and to give up for a lost rebellious world were demonstrated and foreshadowed hundreds of years prior to His arrival on earth. The fact that God commanded Hosea to find his wife, again, compounds the abiding desire of Christ in pursuing a lost world.
The story of Hosea and Gomer, indeed Jesus’ mission as well, could be summarized by the following statements: Love is willing to go. Love is willing to pay. The question for the redeemed of Christ becomes, “What could possibly hinder my love for others as Christ has commanded?”
In John 5:17 Jesus tells us, “These things I command you, that you love one another.”
Lord, today help me to be a vessel of love to both the body of Christ, as well as a lost world.