Hosea & Gomer
Happy October everyone!
Andria and I started this month off with hosting weekly Bible studies which began this past Wednesday night. It’s the first time I have ever done a Bible study in my house and I’d have to say I really enjoyed it a lot. It’s only about an hour long and includes a 20 minute video followed by a group question/answer session. Everyone participated and I was blessed by the feedback/response from the questions. Our topic this week was regarding the immensity of God’s love and what His love means to us. One thing that stood out to me is taken from the verse in John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Our God SO loved the world. He doesn’t just love the world, He SO loves the world. There’s no discrimination as to whom He loves. In other words He really loves good people and He really loves messed up people. He doesn’t just put up with some, secretly waiting for them to crash and burn, no He really, really loves them. He just SO loves the world. We discussed how the prophet Hosea was asked by God to marry a prostitute, Gomer. One of our guests attended church in his younger years and said he had never heard that story and wondered why the church never told him about a preacher marrying a prostitute! Interesting isn’t it? As the story goes the prostitute eventually runs away from Hosea so God tells Hosea to go to the ‘Red Light’ district to find her and buy her back. Think about it. In essence Hosea’s marriage was a one sided love relationship with someone who was seemingly incapable of ever returning that love. It’s a perfect illustration of God’s love towards us. No matter how often we have run from God, no matter how often we mess up, He chases us down to win us back. His love is that involved in our lives! He even gave us His son who then willingly gave His life to purchase our freedom. He SO loves us and SO wants to see us free. I guess no matter how messed up we sometimes feel, it doesn’t faze God. He loves us all the more. I think that’s pretty amazing.
It would be really cool if we took the time to figure out some way of creatively showing God’s incredible love to someone else. Unfortunately the rat race and daily drama that the majority of us get sucked up into doesn’t allow us the time or energy to care about others like we could. The other day here in a quiet residential neighborhood in West Portland, a mom stepped out of the house to get help for her husband only to come back and find that he had shot and killed their two kids and in turn took his own life. It was an devastating shock to the neighborhood and community. The family lived just down the street from the elementary school the kids attended. It’s heartbreaking! One can’t even imagine how much grief and pain the mom and family members must be experiencing. To me that would be over the top! I sure hope that friends and believers nearby are showing God’s love for the mom by blessing her and holding her hands over the next few weeks. It led me to wonder if there was ever anyone in the dad’s life that he could have turned to or if someone could have reached into his world to love on him and avoid such a tragedy. Who knows? Maybe he was too messed up. But messed up people are the ones God SO loves.
Oh that we could see it like God does! His love isn’t based on our performance. It’s not based on what we say or how we said it, what we did or what we didn’t do. He loves us the way we look and the way we are. Try this sometime. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘He SO loves me!” until that smile appears on your face. Billy Graham was once asked what the single most greatest thing was that he had learned over his years. Without hesitation he replied, “Jesus loves me. This I know!”