I watched a movie last night on Netflix. It was called Amazing Love. It was kind of cheesy, but it had a great message that I wanted to share. In it a Youth Minister uses the story of Hosea to teach his youth group a valuable lesson. Hosea was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was commanded by God to take a woman who was a harlot as his wife. God knew that she would never be faithful to Hosea. He wanted to teach Hosea a very valuable lesson about how he had dealt with the Israelites. You see by this time the Israelites had forgotten all the amazing things that God had done for them. They had turned their hearts away from him, and had begun to worship the idols of the heathen neighbors. They had long forgotten the God that had brought them out of Egypt and given them the promised land. They no longer remembered the everlasting covenant that God had made with Abraham. They had taken the prosperity that God had provided for them for granted. God had allowed them so many chances to come back to him, but the time had come for God to bring his judgement on the people. Hosea was married to a woman who would never love him the way that he loved her. Her eyes would wander and take the love that he had shown her for granted. God wanted to teach Hosea a very tough lesson about his own dealings with the Jews. After all of the sins of the people, God still loved his people. His deepest desire was that his people would return to him. He knew that they would not, but he continued to pursue their affections. If they were just to turn back to God, and repent of their sins, then God would have spared them the terror that was to come. Through Hosea's dealings with his wife, God taught him that God's love for his people was not dependent on them. God had an unconditional love for his people. Even when they were at their very wickedest, God still loved them and desired to be their God.
I think about my own life. There have been so many times that God has reached out to me, and I have turned away. He seeks to be with us, and to bear our burdens. Too often I have tried in my own strength to carry a weight I was never intended to carry. I have too often acted like Hosea's wife. I have allowed the cares of this world to draw me away from a God that has always been faithful. God seeks the heart of his bride in the same way that Hosea sought the love of his wife. He is forever steadfast in his love for us. How long will we reject his love for us? How long will we continue to think that we can do all this better, than he could? There is a beautiful and abundant life to be lived in the presence of God. All we have to do is to give up all those things that seek to draw us from him. We must put down our idols and love God and God only.
The other lesson of the story is the depth of the mercy that God has for us. I am sure that he is saddened to see us reject him, but he is in no way surprised. Nothing could catch him off guard. He has provided an amazing amount of mercy through his son. As the Apostle Paul says there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. God's love is not dependent on us at all. I am thankful for that. If I had to wait to be worthy of the love of God, then I would die empty. There is simply nothing I can do to warrant his love for me. When I want to do the right thing, then I fail and do exactly what I had sworn to never do. When I am doing the right thing, then I get a big head and believe that I have got it all together. I will never have it all together. I will never trust him fully. I will always have some doubts. He never expects any of that. He just desires a people who will seek his face. When we fail, then we rely on the mercy of God. We stand back up and continue on this journey we call faith. Be thankful this week that God has remained faithful as you and I have chased after other loves.