I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the LORD. (Hosea 2:13 NIV)
Who is God and what does He want. In this passage God clearly describes that what He is illustrating with Hosea and Gomer is a human picture of what is happening between Him and Israel. God has made a covenant with Israel that is represented by the marriage between Hosea and Gomer. He brought Israel out of Egypt and blessed them with a new land of their own and prosperity that former slaves could only imagine. What God expected was faithfulness. Israel responded with unfaithfulness.
Israel has forgotten God and left Him. His desire is to bring them back into relationship with Him. To do that God will remove the blessings of the covenant and replace them with the curses. He will remove His protection and provision with great desire that Israel will remember and return.
God wants us to remember who He is, what He has done. He also wants us to desire Him above everything else. We look at the Israelites and wonder how they could have been so stupid. Their covenant was a physical one in the here and now. All they had to do was be faithful to God and their lives would be peaceful and prosperous. We know that their faithfulness lasted barely one generation after entering the promised land. They forgot, and they believed a lie from Satan spread by the peoples around them. They were convinced that God was holding out on them and that foreign gods would give them something even better. The orgies and sexual practices of worshiping these foreign gods revealed what they desired, and it wasn’t the holiness of God.
God hasn’t changed. Listen to Jesus:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters– yes, even their own life– such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-27 NIV)
Jesus knows us. We love our lives. When Jesus calls us to do something that requires complete trust in Him and the possible loss of something we hold dear we hesitate. We hesitate because we forget that God has provided for us eternal life. He has purchased us out of our lives of sin and made us His bride. He has brought us into himself to be holy as He is holy.
I pray that I would learn to love God the way He desires and deserves to be loved.
For my grandchildren:
Want God more than you want anything else.