4 July 2022

4 July 2022

On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, ‘My husband’, and no longer will you call me, ‘My Baal’. For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more.

Hosea 2:16,17,21-22, NRSV

Like many of the prophets, Hosea did not have an easy life. In his case, he suffered much sadness because of his wife’s repeated infidelity. Rather than following the customs of his time, Hosea continued to love and care for his wife and to try and win her back. Hosea used this experience when writing about God’s love for his unfaithful people. In some beautifully poetic images, Hosea compared God’s continual love for the people of Israel to that of a loving husband. In today’s reading, Hosea looks back with fondness to the forty years in the desert after the Exodus as a “honeymoon” period during which God and Israel grew in their relationship. This image of the covenant as a marriage bond between God and God’s people was picked up by other prophets, used by Jesus when telling the parable of the Wedding Feast, and by Paul when speaking of the coming of the New Jerusalem.

    • What do you think Hosea conveys of God’s love for the people in comparing God’s love to that of a loving husband?
    • Why do you suppose others also used this image?

Reflect on the blessings you have received because of God’s constant love for you, and pray for the grace to remain faithful in your relationships with others.

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