if anyone had a right to revenge, hosea did. he poured his love out for his wife, who flouted it and walked away from him.
then he blessed her with gifts and provisions and kept loving her.
and she turned her back on him again, and went out with her lovers.
and still ... he bought her back again. re-purchased the wife who had married him and gone away. he set his love on her. deliberate. determined. intentional. love.
we wouldn't blame him, would we, for turning his back on her - even if she repented, and came home humbly to love him - we wouldn't really blame him if he was gone, looking for love anywhere else.
but ... he didn't. God swears to his own hurt and does not change (psalm 15:4).
he bought her and brought her home and told her to be his only - and promised he would be hers. he told her to be true to him, and "so will I also be to you." (hosea 3:3)
it aches, that kind of love. the love that deliberately binds itself to the unlovely. the love that says to a faithless one: i choose you. i choose you and i will see loveliness in you. i set my love upon you. and i will show you what love is really like. faithful. pursuing. persistent. generous. righteous. permanent.
this gift God gave hosea: the gift of being acquainted with His Own Heart from the inside out -
it pierces right through.