The Twice Bought Bride
Then the Lord said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 Then I said to her, "You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you." 4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or household idols. 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days. NASB
Hosea goes back, at the Lord's bidding, and buys Gomer and marries her a second time.
Why would God tell Hosea to return to the woman who had betrayed him with her harlotry?
Not everything the Lord asks us to do makes sense to us at the time. If we know it is the Lord leading us we can confidently go wherever He leads and face whatever He takes us through.
Lord, I will go with you. I do not want to be where You are not. Lead me today and every day, Lord. Wherever You lead I'll go.
We who follow Him make up the Kingdom of God. We are the Bride of Christ. He purchased us back from our unfaithfulness with His broken body and spilled blood.
In John 3:28-30, John the Apostle quoted his mentor, John the Baptist who said:
28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent ahead of Him.' 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. NASU
These were the words of John the Baptist. Most likely John, the writer of the gospel of John and the book of Revelation was standing nearby when John the Baptist was speaking these words.
It is not clear whether John the Baptist was thinking of the prophet Hosea when he compared the Christ to a bridegroom and his followers as the bride.
God certainly meant for us to pick up on this symbolism when He gave the inspiration to John the Apostle for the book of Revelation. We are the Bride of Christ, Jesus is the Bridegroom.
We belong to God. We are the people of God, first because He created us. And secondly, He sent His Only Begotten Son to pay the purchase price for his unfaithful Bride.
God paid the price to create us and He paid the price to restore us to the relationship He intended to have with us when He created us. We are the twice bought bride.
We stand before God in the robes of righteousness washed in the blood of the Lamb of God the Only Sacrifice that could meet the requirements for the purchase of God's holy nation. We are holy only because of what God did through the giving of His Son.
John, in Revelation, clearly had this in mind as He penned the words of the Book of Revelation. Surely God had used the words of the prophet Hosea to inspire John as spent his final days on the isle of Patmos. This picture of the people of God as His Bride was a picture from God Himself. God inspired Hosea to purchase Gomer out of her harlotry as an illustration of what God intended for His people.
Rev 21:1-14 says:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."
5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6 Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” NASU
The new Jerusalem is constructed from the people of God. The gates of the city carry the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The foundation stones carry the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. We, God's people from the Old and New Testament, make up the city of God, the Bride of Christ, the wife of God Himself.
We are the twice bought Bride. He paid the price to create mankind, and He paid the price to purchase us back from our sin and rebellion.
God's message to Hosea so long ago is echoed down through the ages as God seeks to take the message of salvation to all the world through His church.
We are the people of God, who have accepted His love and grace. We who have heard the Bridegroom knocking at the door of our hearts, who have opened the door and allowed Him to come in and sup with us.
We are the people of God who have been called back from our wondering in the desert to enter the Promised Land. We were lost and now we are found. We were sheep wondering out away from the flock and we have been found by the Good Shepherd who brings us back into the fold and binds our wounds and puts oil on our heads to soothe us.
We are the people of God who know we are forgiven. We are called out of the world to live in the proper relationship with God, the Creator of All Things. He is lord and we are the servants of God who listen to His voice and follow wherever He leads.
Wherever He leads I'll go is the heart cry of all God's people.
Is that your commitment today? This must be more than words we say, but we must really believe that God is leading us each day.
He loves His Bride. He loves any who will listen to the still small voice and accept His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His grace.
Grace that will take away the tears from our eyes. Grace that will heal all our wounds. Grace that brings us back to what we were created for: To bring glory to the One True God as we live each day in His Holy Presence.
He does not promise freedom from pain and loss and sorrow. He does not promise to keep temptation away from us. He does promise to be with us until the end of this age when all things will be caught up to fulfill His purpose for Creation.
The Spirit and the Bride say come. Even so, Come Lord Jesus and reign within our hearts today.