Hosea 3:4-5 – For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.
After the birth of a third child, Gomer left Hosea to pursue other lovers, a vivid and painful object lesson of the way Israel had treated the Lord. Hosea bought Gomer back from the slave market for fifteen pieces of silver, a very low price because she had cheapened herself by her sins. May we never forget that God has purchased us at the tremendous cost of the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ!!
Israel today, though purchased by her Messiah, has not yet returned to the Lord.
Israel today is “without a king” because she rejected her King and therefore has no kingdom.
Israel is “without a prince” because there is no reigning dynasty in Israel. All the records were destroyed when the Romans captured Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Nobody can prove to which tribe he or she belongs!
Israel is “without a sacrifice” because they have no temple, or altar, or priesthood. They have no high priest. The only High Priest God will acknowledge is the interceding Son of God seated at His right hand in heaven!
But there is an “afterward!” Israel will not stay “without.” She will see her Messiah, repent of her sins, and say, “You are my God!” They will enter into that blessed relationship in which the Lord says, “You are My people!”
The key word is “return,” a word that is used twenty-two times in Hosea’s prophecy.
When Israel returns to the Lord, then the Lord will return to bless Israel.
This is Hosea’s message: “O Israel, return to the Lord thy God. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, ‘Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously’”(Ho14:1-2).
The people could return to God by asking Him to take away their sins. The same is true of us: We can pray Hosea’s prayer and know that our sins are forgiven because Jesus died for them on the cross.
Forgiveness begins when we see the destruction of sin and the futility of life without God. Then we must admit that we cannot save ourselves. Our only hope is in God.
God is love! He promises to forgive and restore all who repent and return to Him. He promises to bless all who trust Him.
This is truly the most beautiful and amazing love story ever told!!