How to forgive
There was a time in my life when I was treacherously betrayed and I was at a loss to forgive the people concerned. I turned to the book of Hosea, pored over its message and God healed my brokenness and I learnt to wholeheartedly forgive.
The prophet to Israel, Hosea, was commanded by God to marry a harlot. This was a hard ask for a godly man living under the Law of Moses where the Israelites stoned women who fornicated or were adulterous. They had 3 children who were arguably not Hosea’s.
His wife was so promiscuous that Hosea mercifully divorced her. I say “mercifully” for Hosea would have been well within his rights to have her stoned. The anger of a jealous husband is not to be scoffed at. I was in Iran when the fate of an adulterous woman was saturating the media –should she die by hanging or stoning?
Hosea’s wife separated from the home and continued with her adulterous ways. She must’ve been sold into prostitution because the next thing that happened was that God commanded Hosea to go and buy her back, bring her into his home AND, hardest of all, love her.
I can’t imagine the pain Hosea would’ve gone through collecting the huge amount of silver and food to buy her back, going to the marketplace to see his wife publicly paraded (probably naked) and then, in the midst of all the shame and ridicule, purchasing this immoral woman to become his wife again.
When I read that I realised exactly what it had cost God to buy me back. Hosea was like Jesus and I was that wife who had betrayed Him, again and again. I had rightfully earned death. In order for me to be redeemed somebody had to pay for my sin. God alone was the only person who could purchase me using the precious blood of Jesus. Even if I had been the only person on earth, it would have taken just as much of Jesus’ blood to buy me back from my sins.
If Hosea could demonstrate love like this to show us God’s scandalous grace and love and the lengths He will go to to restore us and bring us home, then who am I to hang on to the pain of treachery and betrayal? My prayer became asking to develop a tender heart like God’s.
Today you need to accept that your sin has hurt God. Ask Jesus to blot out your sins. Pray that you will develop a God-like heart and learn the power of forgiveness.