Love God as you would your spouse. God scandalously called his prophet Hosea to wed an unfaithful wife to illustrate his love for unfaithful Israel (Hosea 1:2). Hosea's spouse (Gomer) cheats on him so often that the father of two of their children is in doubt (1:6+8). Gomer's wild adultery results in destitution and slavery, but again God calls Hosea to buy her back to illustrate how he will redeem Israel and woo her back (3:1-2). Just as Hosea expects Gomer to save herself for him alone, so God expects us, his bride, to love him alone (3:3+2:23). When we ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and savior we enter into a sacred relationship. Like a spouse, God desires genuine devotion and obedience to his word, not simply “going through the motions” or empty tradition (6:4-7:16). Since love is not lip service, God sees empty “Christian” behavior, like a ritual church visit or meal prayer, as hypocrisy, or worse, a sham. The idols in our hearts are an act of unfaithfulness and a breech of our marriage covenant with God (4:1-19). Many self-proclaimed Christians would receive a certificate of divorce if God were truly their spouse.
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