Friday, November 8, 2013

A Love Story of Unconditional Love = Part II

One of my favorite hymns is The Love of God, especially the words of the last verse.  No matter how many times I hear them or sing them, the picture they paint leaves me breathless with wonder !
 We stare in wonder at the love of Hosea.  He loved the unlovable.
He took Gomer out of a sinful life and gave her a respectable life.
When she left him to seek other men, we see  him do the unthinkable -- he continues to care for her, supply her with the things she has need of.
And his patience!   He waits, watching until finally Gomer can go no lower, she has reached bottom.
All we see is a yearning love, waiting for her to be ready to be rescued.
He goes to her, pours out his love  promising her he will be faithful to her forever.  

There is no love like God's love,  yet how clearly we see a picture of God's love in Hosea.
While God tells us that the love of Hosea for Gomer was  "just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel...." (Hosea 3:1)  it is also a picture of God's love for His people today.
But ... that is the easy part of the 'Hosea' picture.

We so quickly click our tongues and shake our heads at the unfaithfulness of Israel and the foolishness of Gomer to refuse such perfect love,  but so often we judge most quickly what we are ourselves are  guilty of. (see Rom.2:3)  

If we  were to choose a woman of the bible that we  think we  are most like,  Gomer is not a woman we would readily choose !  In fact, most of us would not even consider her.
And yet ...   perhaps we are more like Gomer than we would care to admit.

God says the Israelites are like Gomer in that they "look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans." (Hos. 3:1)  
The Israelites looked to the nations around them and lusted after the things they had.
They wanted a god they could see. 
They wanted a life of comfort and ease. 
They wanted to fit in. 
They loved compromise - trying to have it all ! 
And God said .. ."Look at what you are doing !  Look how it looks from My point of view.  You are refusing a love that is pure and true and grasping at a love that isn't even real.    You reject my life giving manna, preferring the raison cakes that tantalize the taste buds but never satisfy.  You are playing the prostitute, selling yourself as if you are worthless ." 

 Sometimes it hurts to be honest, but most of us have to admit that our relationship with the Lord is not always 'hot'.  There are times we drift away, for one reason or another and become entangled in the things of the world.   We become lax in our devotion to the Lord and put the things of God on hold.  We lay down our cross,  in our weakness indulge the desires of our flesh. 
 How does it feel to God ?   He says we are as Gomer, the prostitute.   Unfaithful , foolish.
Do we  consider ourselves guilty of adultery when we make other things more important than God ?   

I have never in 48 years of marriage been even tempted to commit adultery against my husband and yet, have I done worse in having committed adultery against God ?  What a very sobering thought !    
Did God show Gomer as committing adultery against a perfect husband because He knew that would shock us into seeing how serious our sin against God is ?   
Would I be less likely to turn away from God for a season if I called it 'committing adultery' ?   

I have wondered ... WHY would Gomer go back to her former life - seemingly preferring it to the faithful love of a godly man. 
In thinking about it, trying to put myself in Gomer's sandals, I thought about how when we feel unworthy it is really hard to believe that someone else finds us worthy of their love.   Because we struggle to believe it, we sometimes finally  find it easier to believe it can't be real and walk away.   
If we struggle with feeling unworthy of God's love, - even if it be for a season -  I believe God put this book in the bible to show us what His love looks like.  No matter how unworthy we are, He will not withdraw His love.   He will love us still.  And He waits for us to turn to Him again when He receives us with open joyful arms, willing to forgive,  even our adultery against Him. 

I find it significant that the meaning for the name  Gomer is 'completed'.    Is that not what God's love does ? 
God's love reaches out to us when we are 'incomplete' and a mess. 
Then when we yield to His love,  He completes us in every way.
He  fills, satisfies, overwhelms us.
He gives us joy  and purpose.
He makes us the best that we can be.
He makes us whole!
His love for us  is the evidence that we  forever  belong  -  the daughters of the King, who , wonder of wonders, desires our beauty. 
   So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. 
Psa 45:11


ellen b. said...

I have always been amazed with Hosea and Gomer and all that God is teaching us through their story. So much to learn here...

Anneliese said...

Thank you for taking the time to write out this love story. It is sobering, to think about where our love lies and how much God keeps loving us, even when we think we are not worthy or go our own way. His love is like the song you mentioned . . . beyond understanding.