Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



Hosea 3
Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a home and a half of barley. Then I said to her, "You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you." For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.

Almost two years ago now, I wrote these words:

It's an absolutely insane thing to think of Hosea's pain. I cannot imagine the bitterness and hopelessness God's commands must have stirred within his heart. Yet, how profound a purpose for his marriage! Hosea shared in Christ's sufferings in a unique fashion, foreshadowing the suffering and hope of the cross, making vulnerable the heart of the Almighty, revealing a depth of compassion in the shared suffering of unrequited love.

This summer, I was given much opportunity to ponder the love of God, namely, its nature, dimension, beauty, glory, and steadfastness. I would sit for what seemed hours, meandering through the height and depth and length and breadth of His love. I would ask God why He loved me, trying to make some sense of it all. What often helped was looking at the seemingly foolish love seen in Hosea: God chose to love us, and we're to accept it in all its infinite facets. We had no beauty to us, no merit to our actions, no righteousness in our hearts; we were truly the wife of harlotry.

In pondering the depths of God's love and the diverse manners He communicates that love to us, I'm always silenced by the beauty of His long-suffering patience. He does not merely wait for us, He suffers for His bride. The cost of pursuing and redeeming His bride is a cost we do not merit, a cost that He pays with hope and joy. Yes, Christ does indeed long with intense passion for the glorious revelation of His bride! Should we not do the same, knowing that He has changed us from the shameful adulterer to the one betrothed to Him in righteousness and faithfulness, never to turn again from Him to our former lovers, forevermore to live with Him as His beloved bride?

This morning, I feel quite keenly the pain and perspective of one of those characters: Israel. Just as Gomer was loved by a faithful husband who shamelessly shames himself to redeem her, so Israel has a faithful Savior who has borne all of my sin and shame. The irony is that it's so hard for me, just like Israel, to bear Him as such a Savior, such a kind, gentle Savior who redeems me and does not shy away from my wretchedness and continues to woo me back in my tendency to wander.

Thank you, LORD, for loving me.

posted by Bolo | 7:14 AM
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