Tuesday, June 20, 2017
“When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, ‘Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife…of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty…in departing from the LORD…She will chase after her lovers but not catch them…Therefore I am going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Anchor (Trouble) a door of hope.” Hosea 1:2, Hosea 2:7-15.
God looked upon Israel and saw how they were betraying Him. They had lost their love and loyalty for Him through their disrespectful behavior. God writes this beautiful but sorrowful story in the call on Hosea’s life. In this call, Hosea was asked to take a faithless wife to represent how unfaithful God’s people were being towards Him.
This story always puts me back in time when I secretly mounted tons of debt in my marriage. I would continue to spend money on things trying to compensate for something which I couldn’t figure out… ‘chasing her lovers but never catching them.’ Then one night, the Lord woke me up and demanded that I wake up Bruce and completely come clean. That night He led me into the wilderness and for the next 6 months showed me ways that my spending had betrayed Bruce…had disrespected Bruce…broken loyalty with Bruce. It felt like punishment but now I can see that it was a Father who wanted more for His daughter and His son. It was an effort to return love, loyalty and life into a fractured marriage. Just as God was with Hosea equipping Him in love and forgiveness, so was He with Bruce. Bruce not only forgave me and showed me such enveloping grace but helped me find a new way to deal with my discontentment. God reminded me that He gave Bruce to me to love and cherish above all others and all other things. He had given me one of my greatest blessings only for me to recklessly love. ‘She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold.’ Hosea 2:8. But, God is a God of many chances and thankfully He turned my Valley of Anchor which held me down into a beautiful door of hope which healed my heart and marriage.
Whatever valley you are experiencing is exactly where God has led you. He loves you too much to allow you to walk in a lesser version of who He created. If ears are attuned, we will hear the tender life-giving words of our Father. He will place life in those dead places in our hearts, and contentment in those restless hidden parts of our lives. We can trust Him to restore us to full fellowship. He has His own vows to us if we will return to faithfulness.
‘I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.’ Hosea 2:19-20.