ASKED TO DO A HARD THING

The word of the Lord came to Hosea and said, “Go, take for yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry, for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord”. Hosea 1:2

During Hosea’s childhood, he witnessed things children should never see. The nation of Israel worshipped pagan deities of the Canaanites. Rampant within their religious festivals were perverted (and unrestrained) sexual activities, mythology and magic, and alcoholism. Hardly an environment to raise a child.

God is faithful to call out prophets in the worst of times. He perceives those who have a heart bent toward Him and who have giftedness for understanding spirituality. Hosea was chosen and just as other prophets before him were asked to do difficult things, Hosea was told by God to marry a woman that would eventually prove unfaithful to him. She would become a prostitute. God was going to use this story as a metaphor to show Israel how they were playing the part of a harlot. Hosea would become well acquainted with the grief of one who loves greatly, yet is betrayed repeatedly by the one he adores. He would be an eloquent spokesman on God’s behalf to draw the nation of Israel back to God’s embrace, though it would be a long personal journey.

Hosea’s life and marriage became a parable for all people to witness. He lived in a glass house. But the sacrifice he made of personal privacy meant that God would be able to convey the message of grace and fidelity to a nation that had strayed from their vows. The message today is clear. If I stray, God doesn’t let me just wander away. He will go to great lengths to make sure I am shown the path back home.

Is someone you love spurning the love of God? There is a “Hosea” today for anyone who has forgotten God and lives life in the fast lane. We can be comforted regarding those for whom we grieve. God is jealous for their affection, brokenhearted for their return, and faithful in His unending attempts to woo them back to the fold.

Make me a Hosea, willing to do hard things for the reconciliation of Your people. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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