Is it just me? Have I fallen victim to old-age syndrome, or does everyone share my frustration? Have you noticed lately that you cannot call ANYONE without enduring that helpful (?) prerecorded call-menu jazz before you are granted that high honor of speaking to another human being? I despise that irritating recorded voice, complete with lame back-round music, spouting out menu options like a machine gun running amok on a shooting range. While the machine is discussing option twenty-five, I am still digesting option one. When my patience wears thin, and it does, I find myself actually arguing with this telephone robot, and that experience is much akin to debating with a corpse. There is something disturbing about a one-sided conversation, for try as you might, you are never going to get a response.
But more pathetic than that talking-to-a-brick-wall phone call is actually enduring a one-sided alliance, an unrequited love, a relationship in which one partner remains loving, faithful, committed to the core, yet the other partner fails to respond. The Book of Hosea is a picture of that bittersweet struggle between undying love and unfaithfulness, coldness, and unresponsiveness.
The prophet Hosea is instructed by God to take a loose-living, immoral woman, Gomer, as his wife, a partner who would soon abandon him and return to her other lovers. God instructs him to do this in order to create a stark object lesson, for in similar fashion, Israel had abandoned its covenant relationship with her God, choosing instead to bow the knee to pagan gods. Israel had “rejected knowledge…forgotten the law of (their) God…” and was “joined to idols.” But perfect love keeps on loving even through the pain of betrayal. Hosea would buy back his wayward wife “for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley.” I find it heart-wrenching that this tender picture of love that Hosea demonstrated was “according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel.” Hosea’s love mirrored God’s love, for in spite of Israel’s rebellion and unresponsiveness, God would restore His people. Yes, they would endure a season of purifying judgment, but God would ultimately “ransom them from the power of the grave…heal their backsliding.” He would still love.
I cannot comprehend that deep, unshakable, unrequited love, the love demonstrated by a God Who “commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While I was unlovable, He loved; when I was lost and astray, He loved; though I deserved judgment, He loved.
How is your relationship with this awesome God? Is it one-sided, as was Hosea’s relationship with his wayward wife? Have you responded in faith to the love offered to you by the God of creation? If not, He is still lovingly waiting.
John 1:11-12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Lord, help me to keep the lines of communication open with You. You loved me when I was lost; You gave Your Son to pay for my redemption. Help me to be responsive to Your love.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2057-62bbed08e6c11' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2057&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2057-62bbed08e6c11' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2057-62bbed08e6c11' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>