Last Sunday, several folks were a bit dismayed when we heard a scripture reading from the Prophet Hosea, in which the word “whoredom” was used no less than three times in just the first verse. In this passage, God commands Hosea to take Gomer, a prostitute, as his wife. As Hosea lives out his marriage to Gomer, he can now relate to how God is like a jealous husband. God is scorned when we are unfaithful to him and “prostitute ourselves” to money and other idols in our culture.
Next Sunday, we hear from Hosea again, as God is depicted as a jealous mother or father who complains “the more I called to them, the more they went from me,” even though God has “lifted us, like infants, to his cheeks.” God is depicted as the mother of a teenager, weeping as her daughter storms out of the house with her keys in her hands, screaming: “I hate you, Mom!”
Holy Scripture uses very human characters: a prolific prostitute and a humiliated husband; a rebellious teenager and a sad mother. Scripture shows us, on human terms, our constant unfaithfulness. Scripture also shows us the faithful and continual love of God for us. For even in our unfaithfulness, even in our rebelliousness, he still lifts us to his cheeks.