The book of Hosea is a book about marriage to God. The children of Israel have been adulterous to the Lord by serving and worshiping idols. As a result the Lord wants to show Hosea what it looks like to be in His place, from my understanding, the Lord wanted Hosea to enter a similar marriage so he could grow in patience and so he could gain a deeper understanding of God's love for the children of Israel.
The Lord instructs Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman named Gomer. In Hosea 3:1 the Lord says to Hosea, "'Go show love to your wife again, even though she loves another man and continually commits adultery.'" I had to imagine how Hosea felt, to marry a woman he knew was promiscuous and still be told to love her despite her willful unfaithfulness, it had to be tough, but the second part of verse one really made me stop and think.
The Lord did not tell Hosea to marry Gomer to make his life miserable, he told him to marry her so Hosea could grow in love and patience with the children of Israel. It is hard to be patient with others when it seems our efforts and attempts at loving them are being wasted. Hosea had to be patient with Gomer and trust that what the Lord told him to do would not simply bring frustration but would eventually bear fruit, fruit that could potentially only come from growing in patience.
How is the Lord wanting to grow you in patience and love?
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father I thank you for loving me and for your grace. I thank you for the ways you speak to me through scripture and the ways you increase my knowledge, wisdom and understanding of scripture. I ask that you would help me grow in patience. When I feel my efforts are being wasted would you remind me of Hosea? When I begin to focus more on my desired outcome instead of the purpose of my current place would you bring to my remembrance the words you spoke to Hosea, would you encourage me to go back and love the very person who has been unfaithful, the very person who has been short tempered, the very person who has turned their back on me, the very person who has exposed me, the very person who seems not to listen to the wisdom you've given me to share with them? Would you help me to extend patience to all who make it hard, just as you did to the children of Israel and as you do to me?
I pray and ask all of these things, in Jesus' name I pray,