I recently read a story by a woman who calls herself “The Restored Wife.” She and her husband endured years of bitter arguments, bankruptcy, an affair, and even divorce. She was planning to take her own life when God broke through and led her to the book of Hosea. God used Hosea’s story to show her what forgiveness can look like. Eventually, she and her husband remarried. “My testimony isn’t pretty,” she writes. But she wants others to know they are “never too far away . . . to come back home.”
Today’s passage describes even more transformation in the intimacy between God and His people. Three incredible “in that day” promises are given, although the reader is not told when “that day” will be. The first “in that day” pledge reaffirms Israel’s relationship status before God (v. 16). It reads like a wedding vow: “You will call me ‘my husband’.” Israel will no longer confuse God with Baal.
With the second “in that day” promise (v. 18), God will reestablish a covenant relationship between His people and nature. He will also remove all signs of war, so that safety is guaranteed. It implies a return to Garden of Eden conditions. And God declares their eternal betrothal based on His character of righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and faithfulness (vv. 19–20).
The final “in that day” promise returns to the fertility theme (v. 21). God will restore a balanced relationship between the rain, the soil, and the seed. God will do what Baal could never do—empower the earth to produce. Lastly, the recommitment of both God and His people is described as a vow- renewal ceremony. In that day, God will lovingly say, “You are my people.” And the people will respond, “You are my God” (v. 23).
>> Does your heart long for restoration with God? The future and eternal hope promised to God’s people here is ours as well. Fix your eyes on that today.
Lord, we are Your children, yet how easily we wander away. Let us find no satisfaction when we seek other things to satisfy our needs. Restore us to obedience so we can say, with conviction, “You are my God.”