Monica Lewinsky, the political intern at the heart of the sex scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency, has allegedly been offered a $12 million advance for her memoir. Apparently the publisher believes the book will be a bestseller, especially if it reveals the steamy details of Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky. Shame and betrayal will be turned into profit.
Adultery is such an egregious act of betrayal: Imagine then how vulnerable God makes Himself in our reading today as He declares His willingness to forgive and receive back His adulterous people.
Hosea had one of the most difficult prophetic assignments. God called him to marry a “wife of whoredom,” a women with a checkered past and recalcitrant heart. He would marry her and have children by her, but she would persist in her sexually promiscuous ways. Hosea’s shocking act was meant to be a picture the lavish (foolish?) love of God for His own betrayers, the nation of Israel, whom He had rescued but who had followed other gods.
God’s faithfulness drives Him to these shocking lengths of love. His faithfulness to His own covenant promise allows Him to forgive and remove the stench of our idolatry. Though we have rejected Him and His gifts, meriting His fierce wrath and anger, He longs to bring us back and to speak tenderly to us. In the Valley of Achor (a reference to the place of judgment on Achan and his family during Joshua’s time), He intends to plant seeds of redemptive hope.
His faithfulness not only erases the record of our unfaithfulness but also makes possible that we, too, could become faithful.