Friday, December 6, 2013

The Cure for a Bad Marriage

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Thursday, December 5, 2013:  Hosea 1:1-3:5

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.” Hosea 3:1 (NKJV)

The Picture of a Bad Marriage

Marriage, as a concept, is in trouble today.  One of the reasons for this trouble is our loss of the biblical concept of covenant.  It seems that young couples flit in and out of relationships like changing clothes.  It reminds me of teenagers breaking up because they don't like each other any more.  If a husband or wife is not doing right, go get a new one.

Hosea is a startling look at a very bad marriage.  It seemed doomed from the outset.  God told Hosea to marry a woman named Gomer.  But, they could not have been more mis-matched.  He was a prophet; she was a prostitute.  He upheld holiness; she was the epitome of scandal.  Even children could not pull them together.  Their three children carried names reflecting severity and animosity (Lo-Ruhamah meaning "no mercy", Lo-Ammi meaning "not my people", and Jezreel which was a valley of severe judgment).  

What's a Man to Do?

Gomer probably never left her promiscuous ways.  She abandoned her marriage to Hosea and followed many lovers.  She moved out and moved on.  What would you do if your wife or husband did this to you?  How far would you go to win him or her back?  In fact, you would have Scriptural grounds for divorce (Matt.5:32).  

God orchestrated this entire ordeal to make a demonstration.  He wanted to display His undying, covenant love.  The defining concept undergirding all biblical relationships is COVENANT.  But, this is not an agreement between equals.  It is a one-way commitment based on God's character -- and NOT conditioned on the conduct of the distant, unfaithful partner.  

Hosea bought his wife back for 15 shekels and some barley (3:2).  He bought her back and brought her home.  All of this shows the unfailing love of God for His people -- for you and me.  In other words, He paid the price.  He refused to give up.  He would not break His covenant.  

The Core and the Cure

The core of the Gospel is not a list of rules but rather a heart of love -- covenant love.  This kind of love is more than a romantic notion.  It is a an unbreakable decision.  Covenant means commitment unto death and only death can stop it.  

Our marriages, our morals, and our lifestyle must return to an understanding of covenant.  Not only is it God's highest way, it is man's richest life.  It may sound over-simple.  But, the path to a solid marriage is having a character of COVENANT.  It will re-make us.  It will cure our brokenness.  It is as strong as God Himself.

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