August 15, 2011

“When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” Hosea 1:2-3 New American Standard

Her father was known in town. She was known as well. Little did she know that her life was going to be used to describe how God watched His own family become so unfaithful. (Any parent’s nightmare) But that didn’t stop God for one moment. Not only did Hosea marry Diblaim’s daughter .. he also paid the price of a slave to get her back when she abandoned him for another lover. (She left her son and daughter as well.) We are more like Gomer than Hosea. Although, we prefer to think of ourselves as Hosea: patient .. faithful .. and obedient. Gomer is everything we don’t want to be: unfaithful .. self-destructive .. and secretly and openly disobedient. She is everything that we are before the Lord starts courting us. You belong to a God who starts over and remembers His first date with you. He’s the One who comes to find you. It doesn’t matter to Him what you looked like when He found you. He knows what will happen inside of you when He turns your heartbreak into hope. We think He’ll come with punishment and make us promise to never stray from Him again. Instead .. Jesus comes after you to buy you back .. to clean you up .. and “marry you for good”. He does all of that so that “you’ll know me .. for who I really am.” Hosea pursued Gomer and the Lord is pursuing you. He became the “slave-price” so that your freedom would be secured. God doesn’t hold back describing what you’re like without Him. And He didn’t hold back what it cost to bring you back to Him. When He says He will never leave you or let you go … He means it. Jesus said the same thing to 11 Gomers who abandoned Him. He’s still in the first-date-all-over-again business. It only takes a moment …

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. … And then I’ll marry you for good — forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know me, God, for who I really am.” Hosea 2:14-15, 19-20 The Message

Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Pursued–Purchased–and Promise-filled followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One(ken@priorityone.org)

About Ken Chester

I love seeing Christ become alive and real in someone's life. It is amazing what happens when Jesus moves in and starts to renovate a life. When I'm not riding my road bike, I am usually walking our corgi named Trinity (she came that way) and corgi-lab named Lowrider. Carolyn and I are transforming our backyard. And a book is on the way. ...Stay tuned ... Ken
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