Read: Hosea 2:14-20
I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. (v. 19 NRSV)
Yesterday’s Scripture is one of the hardest passages in the Bible. But in today’s passage there’s good news about our bad worship: God doesn’t leave us alone under judgment. He comes to us in Jesus and walks alongside us, offering intimacy and healing. In a world full of injustice, God doesn’t just shove Big Ideas on us about how to fix everything. Instead, he invites us to pursue justice and worship rightly by sticking as close to Jesus as we can.
The language of a man “taking” a wife for himself in the book of Hosea can sound archaic to us, but the core sentiment behind the metaphor is truly amazing. God wants to be closer to us than the closest human intimacy possible. And from that place of love and safety, God walks with us through the hard, scary process of covenanting toward justice with all of creation.
Like Amos, the prophet Hosea scolded the people of Israel for wrong worship and injustice toward their neighbors, but he also delivered a message of hope. Even though we fail every day to worship God rightly, or to live justly toward our neighbor, still God chases after us, making us holy, making our worship beautiful, gently leading us toward healing and reconciliation.
As you pray, ask the Lord to take you to be his in righteousness and justice, and to be near you today and always.