God Loves Freely - Hosea 14:1-9

The book of Hosea was written to the nation of Israel at a time when they were in open rebellion with God. Marriage, adultery and divorce are used at the beginning of Hosea (ch. 1-3) to depict Israel’s failure to remain in relationship with God. In chapter 14, the prophet petitions Israel to return to God. Even though they had turned their back on God, he had not turned His back on them. God did more than wait patiently for them to return, God’s love is so great he sought after them, sending prophets, such as Hosea, to petition them – beg them – to return.

The poetic language of love and restoration paints an amazing picture. God desires to “love freely” those who are in relationship with Him. What does it mean to “love freely”? The word used here for “freely” can also mean “voluntarily” and it is the same word used to describe the optional free-will offerings (Lev 22:18). God loves voluntarily, not because He has to, but because He wants to. In addition, His love is not static. His love brings restoration and healing. This is perfect love. Love that forgives sin. Love that is freely given. Love that restores.

Thoughts to Ponder
Take some time to read verses 4-8 slowly. Sadly, it is easy to let the busyness of life cause us to forget how amazing God’s love is. As you go throughout your day take some time to remember what you have just read. Even when we get distracted with life God’s love does not falter.

In Israel’s situation, they had let sin break their relationship with God and he punished them with exile. Through it all he begged them to return. Today, the same can happen. There may be times when we give in to sin instead of following God. When that happens he may discipline us. But if that happens to you always remember that God is standing there waiting for you to turn, waiting to restore you and shower love on you.