I am in a small class at seminary that is engaged in the study of the book of Hosea. The book is challenging in a lot of ways.
It is challenging in terms of its language. The original Hebrew text is complex in spots with difficult vocabulary. There are even sections where I am able to translate every word and still have no idea what it is saying.
It is challenging theologically. God calls Hosea to marry an adulterous woman. What does this do to our understanding of God?
It is challenging devotionally. The main gist of the book is that Assyria is coming for Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and that Israel will undoubtedly perish if they seek for aid from anyone but God. But time and time again, they forget God and pursue other lovers.
Perhaps the greatest insight into this book that I have gained so far is that we cannot be too quick to jump to Gomer (Hosea's adulterous wife), who represents Israel. Instead, if we linger on this call from Hosea's perspective, it unlocks a powerful message. Our sin, my sin, your sin is devastating to God. And while we continually play the whore, God begins to woo us, to seduce us, to draw us to himself. This is a love affair. Those who would deem that the OT is Law and the NT is love and grace have not truly read the OT.
Truth be told, I am an adulterer to the Lord. I fill up my time, my schedule, with appointments, meetings, ministry opportunities, seminary classes and schoolwork, but I do not spend time with the deep lover of my soul. I have been that guy to lift my hands in worship on Sunday morning when I haven't lifted my eyes to his gaze all week. I do not trust God for things like attendance at an Africa fundraiser. There are times where I'd rather withdrawal and watch a cavs game on tv than sit in the company of God's people. God has ransomed me and I've forsaken him. Yet that gentle wooing (Hosea 2), that scandalous seduction of the Most High God will not let me escape.
So, reality check...how are you a whore?