I have to admit, my fingers have not intentionally found the book of Hosea in a long time. My goodness, it’s so impactful! If you are wondering or have ever wondered if your behavior could cancel out the love of God, Hosea is here to tell you nothing is that powerful.
Hosea 2 tells a story of an unfaithful wife and a husband’s fierce devotion. “Hosea” actually means “salvation”, or “secure”, and in this jealous love of God’s (the husband) for Israel, His people (the wife), we see a greater picture of our brokenness, self-reliance, and shame, and how Jesus came to win us back! What a love story!
I wonder if you have ever felt like God does in this story. Have you ever been so hurt, you detached yourself? God has.
Hosea 2:2 says,
“But now bring charges against Israel- for she is no longer my wife, and I am no longer her husband.”
His ‘wife’ Israel, who made a covenant to Him, was using herself to make money, worshiping other gods of the world, and living as if she was not fully provided for. We can look at this story and think, “God is angry, that is not love.” But oh, how it is!
As parents, my husband and I provide clothing, hygiene, food, safety, joy, correction, teaching, etc. for our children, not because it’s required, but because it’s our delight. It’s our honor. It’s our pleasure to provide. If my six-year-old daughter was out in the night picking up cans and raking leaves around the neighborhood by day to provide for herself what I have ALREADY provided her, I would be devastated and angry. But do you know why? Because I love her. Because that act of her fending for herself as a six-year-old would mean she doesn’t fully grasp my love for her. Perhaps she doesn’t feel worthy of such love. Maybe she doesn’t fully trust me or know my intentions for her. She hasn’t received revelation in her heart that my love is an unconditional, providing love.
Now, God is the ultimate provider; how much more does it hurt His heart when we try and earn what He has already provided, not because He is controlling, but because He deeply cares for us?
This does not just concern monetary needs, but also joy, peace, fullness of life, security, safety, and the desires of our hearts. By choosing our own path and shutting Him out, we are saying what He has done and who He is isn’t enough for us. Whether we feel we don’t deserve the fullness of His love, or that by following Him we would be lacking something, there is an age-old lie that comes as a question to our hearts, ‘Is God REALLY enough?’
The unexplainable love of God kept providing for Israel, even when she had turned completely away from Him, thinking she was providing for herself. Why does He not force her to stop? Because love always leaves a choice. God doesn’t want slaves, He wants sons and daughters and friends.
He will make it hard though.
Hosea 2:6-7 says,
“I will fence her in and block her path with a wall to make her lose her way. When she runs to other lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them.”
If you’re not receiving responses from certain people, not being invited to certain things, or not getting that job, could it be that God, in His love, is fencing you in? We often think God is withholding good things from us, when truthfully He is holding good things FOR us, sometimes by not allowing certain prayers to be answered in the way and timing we think best. But do we trust Him? Can we allow Him to block our path knowing it’s because He only has good plans for us, and perhaps that path we were on wasn’t leading to His goodness?
You can rest assured that if you are feeling fenced in, it’s because God’s love is chasing after you, even to the repetitive, dark places in your thoughts and actions. Even when we don’t choose Him, He still chooses us. God has a plan to bring us back to Him, the only one who knows how to love us into wholeness. Maybe you know God and have walked with Him, but it feels off. Distant. Closed off. That just might be the love of God bringing you back to a place where you surrender your heart back to Him again. When He seems quiet it’s not because He has abandoned you, it’s because He’s drawing you in.
“I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.”
Once we repent (change direction) and run back into the arms of our First Love, we see that our wandering eyes could never have been fulfilled anywhere else. It might seem unbelievable that anyone could love so recklessly, but that’s our God. He doesn’t weigh out all the ways we will hurt His heart before He says yes to us. He said yes over 2,000 years ago when He spared His only Son on the cross to win us back. And He keeps drawing us back to Him over and over and will never stop.
Selah… and please go listen to ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury
Featured Photo by: Allison Mims