Prostitutes as Metaphors

I'm teaching at the young adult group on Sunday (actually, the next 3 Sundays, I think), and I'm starting out teaching on the book of Hosea.  For the summer we are having a focus on story, while also trying to draw together the Old and New Testaments, since not everyone understands their cohesion.

Hosea is about the prophet (Hosea), who is told by God to marry, well, a ho.  Some translations say, "a woman of whoredom."  (Best word ever?  Likely.  Whoredom.  Work it into your conversations, if you can.)  Anyway, God tells Hosea to marry this woman and raise another man's (men's? possibly) children.  It's a bit heartbreaking, and Hosea has to go and buy back his wife, I think more than once.  God did this as a representation of what the nation of Israel had done in it's relationship with him.  They had turned from their covenant with him and turned to worship other gods, basically whoring themselves out to whoever they thought would serve their purposes best.

The thing is, it isn't just about the old nation of Israel.  It's about all of us.  We're all dirty whores who look for security wherever we think it can be found, trying this and that, worshiping our own desires instead of trusting God and remaining faithful, even when we can't see what he's doing.

And the great thing is that, even though there is a covenant and rules and God always threatened to destroy Israel, his abiding patience and desire to be with them/us overcame his anger.  There was always, "But if you'll turn to me and obey my commands," and other conditions like that.   And Jesus did all the buying back that we need.  That's the best part.  "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.  

He loves us in our whoredom, in our filth, in our stank.  He adores us and wants us and already bought us back from sin.  We have to choose to stay.