So I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post. I haven’t really had anything else to ponder at 2 in the morning. I’ve been asking God for answers. I’m hoping for a letter to arrive in the mail.

Actually, maybe it did. But it wasn’t in the mail, it was in this book that sits on my desk. Today I cracked the pages and found myself caught up in a story about a man who loved a woman who was unfaithful to him. His name was Hosea, he took as his wife Gomer, the prostitute.

We normally don’t consider prostitutes to be suitable mates for a Prophet of God. It’s slightly unorthodox. But Hosea took his wife out of obedience to God. You see, God wanted to prove a point. He wanted us to know that He loves the prostitute. Loves her enough to purchase her. Loves her enough to marry her, bring her into his home, allow her to eat at his table.

The book of Hosea continues to describe the unfaithfulness of Israel, His bride. She has betrayed Him, been unfaithful to Him. And He is crying out to her, “return to Me”.

I can’t let you go.
I can’t give you up.
How could I possible destroy you?
I just can’t do it.
My feelings for you
are much too strong.
I won’t lose my temper
And destroy you again
I am the Holy God—
Not merely some human
And I won’t stay angry.
I, the Lord, will roar like a lion,
And my children will return,
trembling from the west,
They will come back,
fluttering like birds from Egypt
or like doves from Assyria.
Then I will bring them
back to their homes.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Hosea 11:8-11
My heart breaks as I read His words. I’m overwhelmed by His love for me, for us, His bride. His beloved prostitute.
The truth is, I have been unfaithful. I have betrayed Him. I have loved others beside Him. I have followed my own agenda, sought my own way, ignored His voice. And yet… and still… Still He loves me.
Am I still disillusioned by the church? Yes. Am I still hurting? Yes. But something has changed. I asked Him to show me what to do. His answer… Love the Bride.
“But God”, I argued, “the Bride is so unlovable.”
“More unlovable than a prostitute?” He asked.
We love because He first loved us. Without His love, it is impossible to love others. And so, today I am reminded of His love. His love for me. And because of His love for me, I can love His Bride.
Return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
You have rejected me,
But my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
without limit.
I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
and have roots like a tree.
your branches will spread
with the beauty
of an olive tree
and with the aroma
of Lebanon Forest.
You will rest in my shade
And your grain will grow.
You will blossom
Like a vineyard
And be famous as the wine
from Lebanon.
I will heal you and love you
without limit.
Hosea 14

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