“I will espouse you to me forever. ” (Hosea 2:19)

Have you noticed how many businesses have begun to offer “24/7” service? This means that they will be available all the time, every hour of every day. The con­cept has become popular because people want to know that they can do their shopping any time they want or need to.

Well maybe this isn’t as new as we may think. After all, our heav­enly Father has been offering 24/7 help since the dawn of creation. When he first created us, God promised to be with us and provide for us all of our days. Even when we turned from him, he walked with us out of the garden, directing our paths and calling us to turn back to him. In time, he even sent his Son to walk among us and to offer his life for us.

So it makes sense that God would promise the people of Hosea’s time that he would “betroth” them to him forever (Hosea 2:19). Even though the people had begun to worship the fertility gods of the Canaanites, God wouldn’t abandon them. Even though they had forgotten that he was the one who provided for them, God never forgot them as the ones he promised to care for (2:10). They may need some time in a wil­derness of exile before they would remember him again (2:16). They may even need some drastic hum­bling (2:12). But God will never stop forming and teaching them, until the day when they are his— and only his.

Today, think about God’s com­mitment to you. Proclaim in faith that his hand is always upon you. Let his faithfulness stir your heart and protect you in times of tempta­tion. When you feel weak, make it a point to run to him for strength and confidence. As you do, you’ll find that he is running to you even more quickly. He wants to embrace you, to heal you, and to fill you with good gifts. So stand on this one, solid promise today: My God will never, ever abandon me.

“Lord, you are my refuge. I know you never let go of me, and so I trust in your faithfulness. I believe that you are with me every day of my life.”

Psalm 145:2-9; Matthew 9:18-26