The wedding invitation comes with vellum covering the invitation to keep it in pristine condition. There’s the mention of both sets of parents, the bride and groom’s name, the date, and finally the part about wedding gifts. These days, instead of going out and buying a bunch of stuff the newlyweds have to take back and exchange, you simply follow the online instructions, look at the stores where they are registered, decide how much the couple is worth, and purchase their gift.
In our culture it’s family and friends who get invited to the wedding and give the gifts. In the 8thcentury the wedding gifts were all on the groom, and he was expected to come through with gifts worthy of the woman he loved. In yesterday’s Devo we saw how Hosea pictured God like a young man in love wooing the woman he loves. In today’s Devo Hosea records the gifts the LORD gives to his love as a betrothal and then his consummation of the resurrected marriage.
“I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you to me with the gift of righteousness, justice, devoted covenant
love, and compassion.
I will betroth you to me in faithful trustworthiness, and you will intimately know
the LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20
In Hosea’s culture, the husband-to-be gave precious gifts before the consummation of the marriage and this constituted a much stronger commitment than our idea of an engagement. In this case, God gave the most precious wedding gifts ever given.
Each—righteousness, justice, devoted covenant love, compassion and faithful trustworthiness—are fundamental characteristics of the LORD himself. He’s actually giving the gift of himself to his bride. This is Hosea’s way of describing what Jeremiah will call the New Covenant where the LORD no longer writes his Law on tablets of stone but on our hearts (Jer. 31:33). Then Hosea makes one of the boldest statements of all.
In Hebrew when you speak about the consummation of a marriage, you say, for example in the case of Adam and Eve, “And the man knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived…” (Genesis 4:1). But in this passage, God has pictured himself wooing, giving gifts, and then waiting for his former wife to respond. Now she has responded and finally gives herself to her LORD.
It doesn’t say that the husband made love to his wife, but that the wife made love to her husband. This passage pictures her finally giving herself in intercourse with the LORD and in tomorrow’s passage the entire universe will burst forth with fruitfulness as a result.
We might be afraid to talk openly about the joy of marital sexual intercourse in Sunday morning church, but God is not ashamed to use it as the most powerful intimate picture of the union he will enjoy with those who return and respond to him.
LORD, thanks that all who trust your Son today get an early taste of this closeness and receive the gift of your character planted in their hearts. And I pray for the day when the Jewish people, the physical sons and daughters of Jacob, will respond to you from the depths of their hearts and trust in the Son of David, your Son, the Messiah.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!