Read His Words Before Ours!
“I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In loving kindness and in compassion,
And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20 NASB (emphasis mine)
No other word could capture the way the concept
wrapped around my heart and pulled me close.
Forward movement ceased.
Speed ground to a halt.
A gentle hand-tug pulling me from a potential escape
and spinning me into a slow-dance embrace.
Okay, so that didn’t physically happen.
However, as I read these verses from Hosea,
all of which I had read before,
this may just as well have happened in real life.
I’ve cried my way through Francine River’s Redeeming Love (an allegory of Hosea),
and have read through Hosea in the Bible before, and while I know I have been impacted by the words in the past, reading them this time truly did cause me to pause and gaze at the Lord.
Then. That’s a sequence word.
Then. It speaks of an outcome from a previous action.
Then. It is an invitation to experience and respond to the pursuit of the Lord.
As I sat in the middle of a coffee shop, surrounded by college students studying, mothers enjoying an evening out with friends, and a lone gentleman enjoying his scone,
I thanked the Lord for His faithful pursuit.
He sought me in order for me to know Him.
I let Him draw me close and remind me of the ways
He has proven these words true with His people throughout Scripture.
We first meet Abraham in the genealogy verses of Genesis 11.
The first mention of Abram as more than the son of Terah so no small mention. It is the record of the Lord’s promise to Abram, one in which He promises to Abram that
“in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Moving a few chapters later, the Lord puts Abram into a deep sleep when He seals the covenant promise to Abram and thereby takes the weight of that promise solely on Himself.
Throughout the pages of the Word, the Lord has proven His faithfulness to this promise of a countless legacy through faith. Abram’s son, Isaac, began the family lineage in which Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, was born. Jesus, in turn, became the sacrifice sealing, inviting, and enabling all who ask to experience the covenant promise, a reality through which countless families have been blessed.
“Come and follow me.”
Jesus’ invitation to twelve men.
No resumes involved.
No extensive interview process.
A simple invitation to come and follow Him.
It is seriously doubtful that the disciples woke up the morning they met Jesus with any sense of how their lives were about to be radically changed. Yet, Jesus intentionally pursued them, intent on faithfully fulfilling His purposes.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus proved His righteousness, justice, loving kindness, compassion, and so much more to those twelve men.
His commitment never wavered, even when handing Judas the bread that confirmed he would be the one to betray Jesus or when Peter denied Him three times. Ample opportunities existed for Jesus to point out their lack in commitment.
However, His pursuit was not contingent on their response.
The verses from Hosea that started this journey study referenced the Lord’s love and pursuit of Israel. Go back and reread them aloud as if they were addressed to you. Read them slowly and confidently.
Do you feel it?
Tonight His pursuit caught me.
His Words reminded me it is not about how hard I work to be obedient.
It’s not how much I feel I have earned His approval.
It’s not about how much I weigh, what I wear, the job I have, my marital status, or any other circumstantial aspect of my life.
It’s about His love for me and His commitment to me.
I know Him because He first chose me.
He is my victorious warrior singing over me tonight (Zephaniah 3:17)
Tonight I felt Him tug me close and beckon me to dance.
(For the record, I did not actually dance in the middle of Starbucks, but I did feel my heart sing.)
Some days He tugs my hand and shame keeps me from raising my eyes to His.
Other times my hurried schedule and numerous commitments become my focus,
and not the feel of my hand in His.
Still other times I let go of His hand all together and forget He remains close by.
However, He is love infinite and His patience eternity driven.
I hope you dance in His pursuit!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!