Hosea 2:8, Isaiah 41:3
The summer before my senior year, my small group leader suggested I read a best-selling book called Redeeming Love. One thing you should know about me is that I do not read for enjoyment; being an ENTJ as defined by Myers Briggs, I find pleasure in bettering myself through self-help books. So me reading it in 3 days says a lot. If you don’t know much about the story by Francine Rivers, it takes the Biblical characters Gomer and Hosea and puts them in a 1800s California Gold-Mine environment. I was brought to tears to see how someone who was rescued from a life of dishonor and sadness could turn away a chance of a new life. A prostitute taken into marriage with a Godly virgin man; yet she picks to go back to the place that’s so much worse than what is possible for her. It wasn't until the end of the book that I realized this is my relationship with the Father.
Hosea 2:8 (NIV) She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold – which they used for Baal.
Wow....let me put myself in that verse.
Abbey has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished her in silver and gold - which she used for a golden idol.
I don’t know about you, but that is so convicting. As women we are drawn into love stories and the thought of men providing above and beyond for their ladies. So how is it that when it comes to God giving us all things under the sun, we choose the life we think is better and deny His gifts?
If you read the book of Hosea, you see that is this not all that the prophet discusses. Honestly, it seems hopeless. Israel has turned away from God and refuses to repent for their wrongdoing. Just like the prostitute they have broken their sacred covenant with God. This sets the stage for Hosea to share what is to come for Israel, using his own life as the example. God isn't saying all these things because He is let down by His people, rather He is a holy God that cannot stand for sin. Hosea actually translates to "salvation", so just like we see throughout the Bible, God is pointing us to the cross and gospel of Jesus. Talk about hope for Israel!
Love stories today typically don't involve all that we see in the relationship of Gomer and Hosea, but it is by far my favorite. It promises that my past and rejection of love does not disqualify me from the amazing grace that can be found in a relationship with a Holy God. Wow, let that sink in. Francine Rivers chooses a word to be used often in her book that is inspired by the second chapter of Hosea, "Beloved". When I read that I immediately feel like it is genuine, purposeful. That’s what our Lord calls us. We are so treasured and He wants what is best for His beloved, just as you would want the best for those you care about.
Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV) But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Praise God I am redeemed and forever His.