“A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God.” —Hosea 4:12
There are people who will admit to sitting in church week after week and nothing is changing for them. They are stuck in neutral, not motivated, not growing, and may even be bored with the Christian life. Perhaps other things have captured their interest or could it be their hearts have never been broken before God, and they are all but flatlining in their relationship with Him?
The prophet Hosea married Gomer, an adulteress who became a prostitute. Hosea wanted to divorce her, but God wanted Hosea to know how He felt about His people. They were committing adultery with other gods, burning incense and sacrificing to them. It grieved God. It broke His heart, but He said to Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” (Hosea 3:1). For fifteen shekels of silver Hosea bought his wife back and she came home to a ?loving environment.
Hosea buying his wife back depicts the incredible grace of God. During the reign of Judges, there are seven cycles where the Israelites rebelled against God and turned their backs on Him. Left to their own devices always resulted in despair and defeat, but God would hear their pleas and upon repentance, would answer their broken hearts, taking them back again and again. God revealed to Hosea His own pain, likening it to the pain of having an adulteress wife. Hosea greatly empathized and through his tears, preached the love of God.
When our hearts have been broken, we are more inclined to ask, “What about God’s heart? How is He faring with the state of this world?” One of the most poignant verses in Scripture says, “And the LORD was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:6 NRSV). In Isaiah 65:2, God says, “All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations…” God has a heart that feels pain, grief and sorrow.
It is when our hearts are broken over the things that grieve God that our relationship with Him deepens. God’s agenda for us is not that we sit in church week after week to be a good Christian, but that we feed our souls and get involved in His work. See how there is change; see what God will do in our lives when we pick up the call of every Christian and become Christ’s ambassadors in a world that so greatly needs Him.