I'm so excited to be linking up with She Reads Truth for a #SheSharesTruth wrap-up of the Hosea study today. Can I just say that I have loved rereading Hosea? Hosea is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is one of those hidden treasures- a book you sometimes forget about and then are so grateful that it exists. I have studied/read through Hosea a few times before, but I was so excited when She Reads Truth announced that this would be their next plan after the Hebrews study. Hosea is a story that is filled with so much goodness, but also so much sadness. There's a lot of "depths of despair" moments as we watch Hosea struggle through trying to love someone who is very unlovable. It gives us the tiniest insight into what it must be like to be God watching us as we flail about and question Him.
If you need a little refresher, here's the gist of it: Hosea was a prophet, a man of God who spoke His words. God told Him to marry a prostitute named Gomer (not exactly the most romantic name) in order to paint a vivid picture of Israel's rebellion for them. While reading Hosea, there is a constant back and forth battle between the Lord and His people. Sound familiar?
As a book junkie, I was captivated the first time I read the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is by far the best fictional narrative of the story of Hosea, with imagery and storytelling that bring you true understanding. While reading Redeeming Love, I am always torn between being so enraged with Angel's, (the prostitute) rebellion and enraptured by the love Michael Hosea has for his bride.
There are times when I've read Hosea and been enthralled by the Lord's great love for me. I am Israel. I am a prostitute, selling myself to those who'll give me the time of day and offer instant gratification. I am impatient and annoyed easily. I worry too much about things that just don't matter. And yet He loves me still. He gives more grace. And grace upon grace.
This time, as I read through Hosea, the Holy Spirit made me aware of just how much I need my Jesus. There is absolutely nothing good in me that is of any eternal worth without Him. I have mood swings and spend money on frivolous things and forget to call my mama. I lose it with my kids and yell at my sister. I shrink back in fear when I should plunge ahead in boldness. And yet He loves me still.
We all need a redeemer. Hosea was Gomer's redeemer. Jesus Christ is ours. He compensates for my unworthy faults. All of my good deeds are as filthy rags before Him. Yet He loves me still. The enemy possessed my mind, and the world had my affections. I forget that I was bought at a price and default to my old nature. And He loves me still. There's no one like Him. And I am eternally grateful for His redeeming love.
"Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is as sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." -Hosea 6:3