Scripture Reading: Hosea 3:1-5:15 / Romans 6:15-7:6 / Psalm 88:1-9
Second chances are only needed when we don’t succeed on the first try. Sometimes an unsuccessful first try is not especially critical…like a baseball hitter missing a pitch or a baby learning to walk. They are told to get back in the batter’s box and swing again or helped up and steadied to take more steps.
There are other times when first opportunities are critical and second chances are not available, possible or given. Unfaithfulness destroys relationships and second chances are not even an option for many victims. School exams are not designed with a second chance option.
God gives Hosea a difficult second chance command – to take back his wife who had left him for an adulterous relationship and a life of prostitution. “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress.” (Hosea 3:1) Hosea went and bought her at the slave auction for ½ price…instead of the standard 30 shekels of silver, he paid 15 shekels of silver and some barley. Gomer wasn’t valued by her lovers or by the world.
Hosea was “buying her back”. He was redeeming her, purchasing her for a price. He “loved” his wife again and took her off the streets, clothed her, brought her home and welcomed her back into his heart. The depth of Hosea’s forgiveness, love and grace is unmatched…only by God’s.
This act of Hosea’s represented the love the Lord showed to adulterous Israel. “Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." (vs.1) God did not stop with Israel, He has reached out to the entire world, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Gomer deserved to be killed by stoning but Hosea loved her so much he was willing to redeem her by love. God steps in the midst of our sin and buys us back again out of bondage. As much as God’s heart gets broken again and again because of our spiritual adultery, His does not stop loving and calling us back to Him again. We are called to be true and faithful to Him. If we ever find ourselves straying from His loving presence and care, don’t allow sin and condemnation to keep you in bondage…He calls you back to Himself, He is the God of second chances!