"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them."
All of the rebukes from Hosea to the people and this is how He reassures them in the end. Man o man have we been wayward. So wayward that we cannot even do right if we want to. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Of all the rules and guidelines we put on people, only by living in Him can they live a victorious life. Sure, you might not smoke, but you still struggle with great anxiety. Sure, you might not cheat on your wife any more, but you still harbor discontent and bitterness. Sure, you might not lie to get money any more, but you still withhold it from the poor.
To all of our efforts of waywardness, to every sinful idol we worshipped in hopes to have a spiritual experience or to be ‘uplifted,’ to every single person who has walked out of a great worship service at church and kicked their dog or yelled at their kids in anger, God says "I will heal their waywardness and *love* them freely."
Here is how my Hebrew dictionary defines the word *love* marked with the asterisks.
“To love, desire, delight, like , be fond of, covet, be beloved, amiable, be a passionate lover. Implies an ardent and vehement inclination of the mind and a tenderness of affection at the same time. … The term denotes a strong emotional attachment for and a desire to possess or be in the presence of the object of love.”
It was used of Abraham of God when he was called the ‘friend of God.’
God says he will Ahab them freely. Hosea will love Gomer again, and this time he will love her so much that she’ll be completely and forever won over. We have all chased after other ‘gods’ for love. We have prostituted ourselves for the sake of approval, for the sake of riches, for the sake of comfort or pleasure, and God says "I’m going to heal you and love on you so much you won’t be able to handle any more."
see, that word ‘freely,’ as in God will love us freely…is the same freely you see in Exodus 36:3- And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done." …And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work."
God said in Hosea 14 that He would love us freely.
Here’s the DEV (Dan’s expanded version)
I will heal your waywardness and love you with such an affectionate presence that I’ll always want to be around you and there will be enough of me for you so that you don’t need anything else.
How in the world could God be with us that much, unless He came to earth and lived among us. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Only by coming in the flesh could He be with us. But then what about our sin? Nothing unclean can be in the presence of God!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
So Jesus came to be with us, and to make a way for us to be with Him. And now He is always with us, because of the Holy Spirit.
John 14:23 “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him… All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
So we have God loving us, wanting to spend time with us and be around us, even though we’re a bunch of wayward wives. His mercy and His promise are unfailing, and all of us won over by Him need only to believe it and be loved. Isn’t that unbelievable?!