Lord Jesus - we are all that Hosea one time or another. Taking stuff from others when we don't deserve it, being treated ill-mannered for no reason, having a loved one turn on us and yet not understanding the purpose, etc. BUT we definitely have all been the adulterous wife as well. We have, or maybe just me, been the one to reject God's best because it didn't make sense, turn up our nose to one that wants to love us unconditionally, raise our hand in disgust against the blessings or discipline that reveal "I love you no matter what". We have all been there!
I am at chapter 2 this morning in Hosea and am just blown away by a few things. While Hosea is a picture of a husband taking an unfaithful/adulterous wife, it is also a very clear picture of Israel or the child of God being constantly pursued by God Almighty - even in the midst of our constant unfaithfulness. SO this chapter 2 is a back and forth explanation of Israel's punishment and redemption.
Verse 2 says "let her remove the adulterous look from her face". My translation - "You better wipe that smirk off your face or I will!" Verse 4 says that He will not show His love to her children as they are "children of adultery". If you are looking at this from a parent perspective that sounds really harsh. Would God really not love a child? He loved Hagar and Ishmael... I think the point here is that God is disgusted and can not love the things that come out of disobedience - many times an idol - or the things we produce in our unfaithful times... What could that be - a ministry He had not ordained, things we buy with the tithe, our lying lips that just try to please, the obvious- "intimate friendships" that should not be, etc.
Then later on down in verse 8 the Lord talks about the adulterous person, country, wife, etc. not acknowledging where her blessings come from and then actually offering them to the gods, Baal. God immediately responds with punishment and discipline. He is going to take away all the gifts, blessings, "needs", everything He provided. Yikes - that is steep. He means business.
But even in the midst of this discipline I am just blown away at His love and still affection and concern and discipline for His people and for me! Verse 5 she says that she is just going to go back to where she feels like she received her "bread and butter". And God responds with saying that He is going to block her paths to go back. He says he will build a wall around her to keep her away. She will not be able to catch them in a chase and will search and look and yet be unable to find them. Man, oh Lord, praise You! That is just a huge Praise the Lord. I have been the one chasing after the idols, the wrong pursuits, the unholy, the unfaithful, the yuck! And You love me so much, all of us as children, that You would do everything to stop us and keep us from stumbling as much as possible. Thank you! - You say you love those that You discipline, but this a clear picture of how You do love us in that discipline! Thank you! One question - when have You had enough of our chasing the unfaithful that You allow us to have our way and You remove the "wall", etc?
And of course You never leave us without redemption. Thank you for the end of the chapter as You chase us back into Your arms of love, mercy, grace, righteousness and justice! I love Your ways, Lord. Help me keep the smile of grace and mercy - one that knows I have been pursue and caught by love! Wipe that smirk of disgrace and disobedience off my face!!