Updated: Aug 26, 2018
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her..."
As we continue our series on hope I found myself in the book of Hosea. Hosea was a very interesting man of God, a prophet called to do something almost all of us would not do. He was called to take a harlot as his wife, and deal with her unfaithfulness, and the children born as a result of it. Can you imagine? Some people can't even share their faith, much less obey this instruction of the Lord. I have found this chapter hard to read, I could never get past what God asked Hosea to do. I found it, well I won't lie I saw it as mean. Really, why would God do that? Why did Hosea have to suffer that way in his marriage? I argued his case before God and asked him over and over " What about Hosea, Lord? What about his heart? "
There is so much rich truth of God's love for us and His relentless pursuit of us here it is overwhelming. I think a lifetime would not be enough time to take it all in. So as I read here today, what is reaching out of these words on the screen is not how Hosea felt, but how God feels for us. Hosea experienced God's love in the midst of His calling from a deeper perspective. It is Messianic in a sense that Jesus had to suffer for our unfaithfulness and bear the weight of the all that was produced from it, all for loves sake. We experience God's love most when we are loving the ones that are not easy to love. Love - that is what it is all about right?
Zion, can you hear Him calling you higher? What will your answer be?
Israel's constant straying from the Lord called for a radical intervention. Sometimes the cry for what we want drowns out the truth of what we need. Our vision becomes obstructed and we find ourselves in pursuit of our will and not the will of God for our lives. The road to our will lures us into the wilderness every time. Our Father will not let anything or anyone sit on the throne of our hearts for any reason.
Deuteronomy 4:24 NKJV
24 For the Lord, your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
When in the wilderness, we will often encounter adversity. In the islands, they say "all that glitters ain't gold" what seems like the answer to all of our problems ends up being our downfall. While trying to make our lives work without God we set out with our hopes up, and end up with our hearts broken. We get upset and disappointed but why? Why would God allow something He created to sit on His throne in our hearts? What we worship affects our souls, and seated in our souls is the essence of who we are. Our destiny and purpose are governed by who rules our heart.
God, is a consuming fire. In the wilderness, He uses what ensnared us in the first place to open our eyes to who He is and reduces whatever we were seduced by to nothing. The above passage in Hosea, God promises us vineyards in the wilderness. Vineyards produce fruit, that fruit produces wine, and that wine is poured into our new wineskins. Simply put we grow in the wilderness! In the Valley of Achor (aka trouble) there is HOPE! The Lord promises us that door of hope in the midst of our own error. We stray and He comes with hope to bring us out and draw us closer to Him.
Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with loving kindness, I have drawn you."
It is that wonderful loving-kindness, it is that amazing love that delivers us into a new depth of relationship with Him. He brings us from seeing Him as Master and draws us to the altar where we join ourselves to Him and call Him husband. It was Hosea's sacrifice that allowed God to rescue his wife Gomer. It was that same sacrifice that Christ made on the cross that made it possible for God to rescue us from the power of sin over our lives. Whatever valley you find yourself in today, be encouraged and know that your Redeemer lives and will open a door of Hope in the valley for you! The Valley is meant for God to give you what you don't have and take away from you what you no longer need.
Praise God for Hope today! Hope Eternal, Hope That Does Not Fail, The Door of Hope in the Valley!
Hallelujah for HOPE!