I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion.
Once I had a very interesting discussion with some sisters. I forgot who raised the question, “Which Bible character would you marry?” One of the sisters said, “I like David. He is romantic and he writes poems. Well, he is handsome and good-looking too, according to the Bible.” Another sister said, “I don’t think David is good. He never overcomes temptations. I like Joseph. He flees away from temptation.” I said, “You are all wrong.” Guess which Bible character I chose? (Several audience answered but didn’t get the right answer) If I am going to choose, Hosea is the one. He loves his wife because God tells him so. He cannot say no. The verse we are going to look at is in Hosea, chapter 2, verse 19b.
- I will betroth you…
First let’s look at the first part. God said, “I will betroth you…” What does that mean? This is like the period of time you know you are committed but you are not married yet. Yes, it is like engagement. As we become believers, we are engaged with God.
As many of you are married here, do you remember those days you are engaged? Sometimes you just cannot wait for the day to get married. It is getting excited here waiting for that day, right? But imagine this, if you are engaged already, but you fall in love with someone else and you just can’t help. Can you still marry to the one you had engaged? Can your heart still marry to the one you engaged? You will feel guilty, and there is something not right. Now, do you know that you are engaged with Christ? Are you being faithful to the LORD your God? Or do you love anything other than Him? I hope we do not need to have that guilt feeling in us.
- I will betroth you to Me…
Do you know who you are married to? He is the Holy One! He is different from anything else in this world. He is king of all kings, lord of all lords. He is worthy of all the glory, all the holiness, all the praise. Who are we that He is willing to marry? We are so broken, sinful, and unworthy. Look at the story of Hosea, God makes him to marry a woman of harlotry? How many of you in this class, are willing to marry a woman with harlotry? She has slept with so many people before and you never know when she would go back to that life pattern. We are just like that woman of harlotry. But Christ claims us as His. He is not ashamed to declare us as His. Christ gives up life for us. Christ does not look down on us. He does not only accept us as friend, but as wives. You might be willing to be friend with people who are so broken, but marriage is different, right? It has to be someone you truly love and love so much that you are willing to live with him or her for your whole life. You need to count the cost too, right? This person’s family of origin, previous life, criminal record, smoking or not, drinking or not…In most disney movies, it is always the princess getting married to a prince. Even the beast could have been a prince before. There are so many things you have to consider before you get married. Otherwise, life could be a disaster. However, Christ knows everything about us and He is still willing to marry us no matter what. He sanctifies us and cleans us by washing water of His word. What a great love!
- I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion
Let’s read it again. I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion. He is not a blind lover that can be deceived with appearance. He is the One of righteousness and justice. Have you ever been righteous and justice to your wife? You tell her “You should not do things in this way because…” “It is wrong that you think this verse is understood in this way….” Luckily, the LORD our God is not righteous and justice in that way. He has lovingkindness and compassion at the same time. He knows our need. He is willing to touch every bruise in our life. He is willing to heal all the hurtings we experienced. He is willing to bandage us on our wounds. He is willing to listen to us whenever, wherever we need Him so much. Who is like Him in this world? Who else could be a better candidate to marry to?
May we all be faithful waiting during the engagement and be excited waiting for the day He comes to betroth us.