They shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom,
and shall not increase: because they left off to take heed to the LORD.
Read Hosea 4
One of the images used most often to describe the relationship between God
and His people is that of the marriage covenant. The background to this can
be found in Israel’s history. The nation was, after all, married to her Lord.
This was not because of anything good in them. The Lord Himself speaks
this way about His people in Ezekiel 16. He uses the image of marriage to
bring out the unique relationship Israel had with Him.
Their relationship is therefore very remarkable. Marriage among mankind
is dependent upon mutual love and faithfulness between a man and a woman.
Men and women love each other and vow to be faithful to each other,
but the marriage between the Lord and His people is totally different. The
foundation of this marriage is based on the Lord’s one-sided love. God loves
His people because He desires to do so. In His electing love, He vows to be
faithful to her. This makes this marriage so unique.
What was Israel’s to do? What did God expect from her? He required love and
faithfulness in return. In granting her His love and His special care, she was
obliged to love the Lord unequivocally. This is what the Lord expected from her.
We too stand in a marriage relationship with the Lord through baptism. Just
as the Lord spoke to His people, I am the Lord thy God, He addresses us every
Sunday morning in a similar way. Why? Because God is gracious. Due
to His caring love for us, should we not love Him in return?
Question: What influence does your baptism have during the week days in
Psalter 431:3,4 (based on Psalm 81)
“Hear my children, hear,” Saith the Lord, who bore thee;
“Never serve nor fear, Gods of wood or stone;
I am God alone, Worship and adore Me.”
“Open,” saith the Lord, “Wide thy mouth, believing,
This My covenant-word: I will, if thou plead,
Fill thine every need, All thy wants relieving.”