Read His Words Before Ours!
When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him:
“Go and marry a woman of promiscuity,
and have children of promiscuity […]”
Hosea, like any other man of his culture, had waited for a bride, working hard to prepare a home and livelihood for them and their future children. Hosea’s father would choose a bride, then they would choose to stay married, have children, and build a life together to perpetuate a new generation who would honor Yahweh.
Hosea’s plans radically shifted when he heard the voice of the Lord instructing him which bride to take. As bizarre as this was, the kind of wife the Lord had selected for Hosea was the most outlandish.
Unmarried she was.
Virgin she most definitely was not.
Gomer, daughter of Diblaim, was well-known for blatant prostitution.
As Hosea entered the school of waiting on the Lord,
lesson 101 focused on tearing down his expectations.
Hosea always had a choice.
Either he could surrender to the calling of the Lord, and humbly let go of his plans in exchange for the Lord’s, or he could walk away and say no.
And so it is with us.
Only through our surrender can God’s love story be told through us.
Either we are the author, or we give up rights to our pen.
As my friend, Sara, likes to say, “The Lord writes the best stories.”
Most often, His stories involve purposed waiting built into the storyline, as the Lord, with deep love, wrecks our plans to show us true love.
The most direct route to our total surrender is waiting.
Hosea’s waiting is inextricable from his journey with Yahweh, the One True God, as is ours. Wherever we see waiting in the timeline of our tale, we can be assured the Lord is rewriting our narrative to emblazon His love story across the pages of our days.
We generally don’t consider the Lord waiting for us, but He does.
Within our chronological timeline, He waits for us to embrace Him.
He waits for us to reject all the lesser loves of our lives.
He waits for us to seek Him, call on Him, trust Him, and love Him most and best.
“I will depart and return to My place
until they recognize their guilt and seek My face[…]”
(Hosea 5:15, emphasis mine)
“What am I going to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I going to do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist
and like the early dew that vanishes. […]
For I desire faithful love[…]”
(Hosea 6:4, 6, emphasis mine)
Waiting is the means, surrender is the goal, an unimaginable love story is the reward.
“I will take you to be my wife forever.
I will take you to be my wife in righteousness,
justice, love, and compassion.”
While our waiting often seems meaningless, the sharp edges of our hearts continuously cutting us with grief and pain as we sit in the messy unknown, God’s command to Hosea came with a clear reason behind it.
“[…] for the land [the people of Israel] is committing blatant acts of promiscuity
by abandoning the Lord.” (Hosea 1:2)
Anti-surrender. Self-love. Gross promiscuity.
These were the pursuits of the people God had purposed to set His love upon.
Death, judgement, and separation would be their just reward unless Love intervened and drew hearts into total surrender. (Hosea 6:5)
God, who waits with compassion, lovingly called aside one ordinary man who would live out the love story of God for His people in brilliant colors that could not be ignored.
“[Hosea], go again; show love to a woman who is […] an adulteress,
just as the Lord loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods.”
(Hosea 3:1, emphasis mine)
Gomer fled Hosea many times, refusing to surrender her promiscuity for the ravishing love of one faithful husband. In the same way, Israel rejected Yahweh on repeat. Spurning His priceless love and forgiveness, instead choosing to whore themselves after false gods and selfish lusts of their sin-wrecked hearts.
My sister, I’m leaning in to tell you a secret I’ve often kept from myself.
I am Gomer.
I, like she, have rejected the God who perfectly planned my rescue, devising a way to uncurl my fists around my lusting desires of self-love, pride, and arrogance by living out His love in brilliant colors, then dying for me, and rising again to prove His victory.
With His blood, He paid the bride-price for my soul, adopted me as His own, and gave me His robe of righteousness which I could never dare hope to earn for my filthy sin is much too weighty. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
The same God who called Hosea to live out radical love for a bride who would leave him,
parted the Heavens, emptied Himself of His rights as God of all,
to surrender Himself as payment for my sin and yours,
that our storylines might be forever re-written with the ink of radical love.
His pen does indeed write the best stories.
His waiting beckons our surrender.
“Therefore, I am going to persuade her,
lead her to the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her. […]
In that day—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
you will call me, “My husband,””
(Hosea 2:14, 16)
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!