The book of Hosea is hard to understand.
Israel. Ephraim. Judah.
All reject the Lord. They chase after other gods.
And God turns them away.
More than that, God pours out his wrath on them.
But God never stops loving them, and he longs for them to return to Him. He longs for their love.
This is the story of Hosea, the prophet, and Gomer, the prostitute.
This is a story of God's relentless love for people who continually turn away.
I think the first three verses from chapter six tell the story. Listen to the this passage set to music by Shane and Shane, and you will hear the sadness, the mourning, the desperation, the hope.
"Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth."
Today I'm thinking about my son, who I love intensely.
He is broken, wounded, injured, torn into pieces.
And it breaks my heart.
I long to see the day when he will "return to the Lord," when the Lord restores him and revives him.
And I'm thinking about the times when I have turned away from God.
Like Gomer in the book of Hosea, who thinks her lovers give her riches and doesn't recognize that her gold and jewels come from her husband, I don't always realize that my blessings come from God until they are taken away. In my desperation, I return to the Lord, and he restores.
May we always seek God with a note of desperation, with recognition that He is the source of life, of love, of hope.