i didn’t wake up as early as i wanted. it is definitely light outside. and emri and josie are here with me. so i have to make this quick.
i feel like i have to provide some kind of context for hosea since it starts out dramatic and mildly bizarre.
hosea is a story of a woman who gets bored of her husband and has an affair. multiple affairs. lots of sex outside of her marriage, you get the picture.
this woman running out on her husband is a picture of us running out on God when we get bored, unbelieving, or frazzled. i identify with all three. or maybe just running out on God when it doesn’t seem like he’s meeting our needs.
but whats beautiful…absolutely beautiful…
is that God tells Hosea to take his wife back. i hear rachel on friends right now saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” but it wasn’t like gomer and hosea were on a break. they were married. and gomer was sort of a crazy woman. a repeating offender of adultery. we all would say in unison, “get out now, gomer. don’t be dumb.” but Hosea was someone who heard from God and obeyed even if it seemed like a crazy request. so God used Hosea’s life to paint a picture of the way God is always pursuing us even if we are repeatedly unfaithful to him. how did we get so lucky? how did we all obtain such radical love?
pretty incredible picture.
the name of hosea’s unfaithful wife is gomer.
two different contexts in here.
1. hosea’s redeeming love for his unfaithful, broken wife
2. God’s redeeming love for his unfaithful, broken people
i will punish her for the feast days of the baals.
(side note: baal is a foreign god. it is not yawheh, the one true GOD. baal could also represent idols. an idol is anything we put our hope and trust in other than God…i have many in case you are wondering)
when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD.
i just have to stop and say that this part registers with me. i adorn myself and forget. if i purchase something that will enhance my physical appearance, than i will have joy. or hope. what??? is this really hope?
God is just and righteous. He’s not beyond disciplining those he desperately loves. (hebrews 12…because of discipline we can endure)
God is also merciful. his favor runs over us and surrounds our lives like a thick shield.
here is how a merciful God speaks to the one he loves….
therefore, behold, i will allure her
and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
and there i will give her vineyards
and make the valley of achor, a door of HOPE.
and there she shall sing, as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of egypt.
this next part is an invitation that supersedes all father-child relationships. the kind we usually associate with us and God. but this is an intimacy thats greater. and its worth pausing.
sit still on this for a moment
and in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me, my husband, and no longer master.
and i will betroth you to me forever. i will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy.
and you shall know the Lord.
(i don’t know, i just hear God’s call to us here. he’s moved by us. and he desires us. this is is plea to us. his covenant with us is mercy and justice. he doesn’t just have a flattery, soft, kind of cheesy love. its a love that has depth and intelligence. a love that knows what we need. a love that knows intelligently, how to make us whole. thats the kind of love i want. don’t flatter me. make me whole.)
and as far as knowing the Lord…
i never felt like i knew God until i started reading the bible. i think i knew a lot of things about him. i think i knew what i was “supposed to do.” but it wasn’t until i started reading for myself that i realized that all these “supposed to-dos” were sort of man-made… not God made rules. and God doesn’t really judge sinners. he desires intimacy with them. and God seems to take the wort sinner imaginable and ranks them right up with the most “obedient christian”. God says that once you realize you are capable of making mistakes and sinning… you are just like the rest. we are all on the same page now. we all need God. and thats the bottom line. no ones better than the other. what is entirely amazing, is that an intelligent, creative, redeeming God wants to be intimate with a sinner like me.
for tomorrow: read john 17