Hosea 2:14-20 NIVUK
14 ‘Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord,
‘you will call me “my husband”;
you will no longer call me “my master”.
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me for ever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.
Israel, God tells Hosea, has been unfaithful to him like an unfaithful spouse – Hosea is to graphically symbolise this by marrying a promiscuous woman – but this doesn’t mean that God is going to abandon her. Instead, after a period of punishment, he will woe them back, described in these beautiful terms. How wonderful is God’s faithfulness to us despite our waywardness!
Lord, inspired by your faithfulness, help me to forgive those who let me down!