Isn’t God so awesome how He does that . . . when what someone presents from His Word is just meant personally for each lady in the convention centre today?! Personally for all of them, even though they are each in a different stage of life with different needs!
That’s what happened in this last hour at OneLove2014 when Nancy Guthrie spoke to us on “What Does God’s Love Look Like?” I ended up in tears as she related the story of Hosea’s life. Having just been divorced by my abusive husband, to hear again of the abundant loving-kindness of my God to me was an overwhelmingly-welcome reminder and encouragement.
God’s love does not depend on my response, but on His character. The gospel just shines out of this prophet’s life.
Hosea’s wife Gomer was unfaithful and ran after other lovers, just like Israel was unfaithful to her divine Husband and turned to other loves and gods. And … just like we today are unfaithful and turn to other things or people to satisfy instead of God alone. He says we “should have no other gods before” Him.
Yet Hosea went after his wife again and again, even though the betrayal broke His heart. He even paid to buy her from someone, even though she was already his. He restored her fully and lovingly, not in a way that would ‘make her pay.’ He patiently guides her to love him and forget her old loves – not all at once – but through a long process, just as God sanctifies us – progressively.
Initially, we get offended on Hosea’s behalf that God asks Him to marry a girl like this, but the point is to be offended on behalf of God whom we betray and reject. The truth is of God’s love for us in spite of our not wanting to be rescued. We’re to think, “What do I think isn’t that big of a deal, yet is a betrayal to my God?” “What do I do to escape or get satisfaction instead of running to God alone?” Any mountains of self-righteousness in our lives melt away as we see God’s mercy in offering healing and love.
We are hopeless without our Divine Husband who knows exactly how we need to be loved and lavishes us with care.
God does it all! He choose us, He woos us back and He loves us! God’s love is not dependent on our faithfulness or purity, but on Who He is. He renews our mind. He convicts us so we come running back to His arms.
On what basis can our God who requires justice be so merciful? Justice WAS carried out. Sin was paid for by His precious Son, Jesus. THAT’S what God’s love looks like!
I’m off to the next session by Kathleen Nielson on “Do You Love Me?” Yup, got my tissues!