I’m currently reading the book of Hosea in my devotions and as I begin the book I read those words (Go, marry a prostitute NLT) and although I know the story, it’s still kind of shocking to see it again in black and white. Some versions have tried to soften this word but the truth is that the Hebrew term in vs. 2 always means sex for money. This is not a woman who would become tainted, she already was.
I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to find out that your spouse was committing adultery, but to marry a woman, knowing she was a prostitute and didn’t have an inclination to change would be beyond my comprehension. And yet I’m that woman, I’m the adulteress, the prostitute and so are you. I’ve been unfaithful to God so many times and He knew that was my inclination before He ever married me. You and I, all of us, we are the bride of Christ and sometimes we aren’t very beautiful on the inside or out, and yet God still loves us.
John 3:16 is a love letter. For God so loved the world (the unfaithful, hateful, lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, murdering world) that He gave His one and only Son…………………………
When someone hurts me, I hurt, I may not retaliate, and I may not hold ill will but I hurt. I selfishly and naturally look for ways to be healed. When we hurt God, He looks for ways to redeem us. It’s never about His hurt; it’s always about our forgiveness. So thank you God for marrying an old prostitute like me, for not giving up on me and continuing to love me when I hurt you.
As we progress through this powerful verse we will spend more time talking about the gift (Jesus), and our choice to accept or reject this gift, but for now let’s just stop and contemplate the kind of love that is described in Hosea and here in John 3:16. For God (Creator, and author of all life) so loved (not in words only but in actions) the world (that’s you, and me).