Wanted: Steadfast Love

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Hosea 6-9

The prophecy of Hosea teaches a truth which we also find in other parts of Scripture: our relationship to God is like our relationship to our marriage partner. Both relationships are covenant relationships, requiring dependable love on both sides, a love which does not waver, but which continues in the changing circumstances of life. God says to his people: “I desire steadfast love” (6:6). But the love of Israel for God was not that kind of love at all. “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away” (v. 4). Israel claimed to love God, but it didn’t last long. They fell out of love, because to start with their love was not of the stubborn commitment variety, which is the only kind that works both in our relationship to God and to our marriage partner.

Therefore Israel “transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me” (6:7). The kind of love needed is faithful love, but Israel’s was faithless. Because of their failure to be faithful to God, their lives were half-baked, “Ephraim is a cake not turned” (7:8). They acted foolishly. “Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense” (v. 11). The shallowness which brings a harvest of pain in the lives of so many today is rooted in this lack of faithfulness to commitment to God and to each other. “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (8:7).

PRAYER

Father, give us the strength to be faithful to our commitment to you and to each other. In Christ. Amen.