Imagine what it would be like if you got married, and from that day onwards you saw your spouse down the street with her new boyfriend, or new girlfriend. You hear all the gossip. You know where they are. And the only time you really ever saw your partner was when they came around for sex … or they might occasionally wave to you up the street. What would it feel like? Hosea 1-2 depicts how God’s people used God when it suited them. God had brought them into a covenant relationship with him but they just treated God like a whore. This is graphically illustrated in Hosea’s own marriage. But O how great is God’s mercy. Even in the midst of all that he still won’t let go. He still won’t forget his covenant. He still does not want to be God without us!
This watercolour (c. 1888) by James Tissot (1836–1902) depicts the Prophet Hosea.