I’m devoting the next few weeks to working on a project that’s going to demand most of my mental energy. So apart from the usual Mon-Fri Checkout which will continue, I won’t be writing an additional daily article. Instead, I’m going to post a series of daily devotionals on Hosea that I wrote a few years ago.
I will betroth you to me for ever.— Hosea 2:19
So, dear believer, you are encouraged by the Lord’s betrothal proposal, and you are excited about beginning afresh and starting over. But you hesitate! What if I cannot keep it up? What if I fall again and break my promises again? Surely, I won’t be given another chance. There will be no way back then. You ask, “Is it worth the risk?” What’s the point of beginning again when I know I will fall and break my promises again?
Well, consider the first element of the bride-price which the Lord is offering you: foreverness. “I will betroth you to me for ever.” This is not just for a time, not even for a long time, but forever.
This foreverness can be viewed in two ways. The first way is experientially. When God’s people are chastised, it has a curative effect. Before, their relationship with the Lord was characterized by fits and starts—betrothal one day, divorce the next, and so on. Divine chastisement changes that start-stop relationship into a “forever” relationship. Painful though the chastisement is, it produces a much steadier relationship. So, rod-marked friend, your heavenly Father is bringing you from temporariness to foreverness, from start-stop to steady-as-she-goes, from betrothed-divorced to betrothed forever.
The second way to view this foreverness is objectively—that is, to see it as referring to the unbreakable union between the Lord and His people. So, fallen believer, the Lord hears all your hesitating “what-ifs?” and replies, “However many what-ifs on your side, on my side there is only foreverness!”
The Lord is promising you that the union is unbreakable. As He said in the days of His flesh: “And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).
Jeremiah Burroughs put it this way: “The bond of union in a believer runs through Jesus Christ, is fastened upon God, and His Spirit holds the other end of it so that it can never be broken.” Therefore, when the Devil whispers, “You’ve really done it now. That’s it. It’s all over!,” take these precious divine words and rebuke him with them, “I will betroth you to me for ever.”