30 Pieces or Less: While Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, my wretched heart has often sold Him for less…
How can we trust Him so little and find the world so attractive? Our foolish hearts would drink poison if they could–were it not for the Living Water who does not allow His precious Bride to remain thirsty or drink from broken cisterns.
Praise God that His steadfast love endures forever, and that His love for us is rooted in His faithfulness, not ours. Oh, how sweet to know the patient love of Jesus who purchased His bride back from harlotry. We are an unfaithful people and we shall never fully know the depth of His love on this side of eternity–but when we finally see our Savior face-to-face, we shall see Him as He is and know the full measure of His steadfast love!! What a beautiful day that will be…
The book of Hosea portrays the story of a prophet instructed to marry a prostitute–and the story boggles our minds except for the fact that we see Israel, ourselves, and our Savior in it. God was making a point–His people had prostituted themselves with sin, and while He had covenanted Himself with them, they ran back to their former, promiscuous way of life. Yet, in His mercy, God buys us back–a truth demonstrated through the self-denying, heart-breaking, and longsuffering love that Hosea had for His blemished bride:
Hosea 3:1-3 And the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley. And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.”
Anthony Selvaggio: “Do you see what’s going on here? Hosea marries Gomer and she eventually leaves him to continue practicing her adultery. She ends up being sold as a slave. So does God say to Hosea, ‘Let her go, she’s getting what she deserves’? No, to the contrary, God commands Hosea to go and buy her back!
“Now just pause and think about this for a moment. Hosea is being asked to walk into the town square and buy his wife back at an auction. Do you know how a woman slave was sold at an auction? All of her clothes were removed so that the buyers could see the merchandise. Hosea had to bear the indignity of entering into a crowd of men gazing at his undressed wife. If that was not enough, he also had to bid for her! He had to bid for his own wife!
“…Why did God make Hosea endure such personal hardship? It is because God transmitted his message not only through Hosea’s words, but through his life as well… He was trying to teach Israel that they were Gomer, the unfaithful and adulterous wife.”
“For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.”
Check out this post (“Harlots at Heart”) to read of the redeeming love of Jesus that saves and changes us!!
Lord, we have been an unfaithful people and we have wandered into our former ways of life. Yet, you have loved us with an everlasting love and pursued us with patience. You bore our shame and nakedness, and suffered on our account. You purchased us with the greatest price, so that we might experience your mercy and forgiveness. You welcomed us into Your home with tenderness and love. You have dwelled in us so that we might dwell with you. Forgive us, Lord, for chasing other lovers. May you ruin our hearts for the things of this world, and help us to find satisfaction in You.
 Anthony Selvaggio, The Prophets Speak of Him: Encountering Jesus in the Minor Prophets (Webster: Evangelical Press, 2006), 18.