“They have played the prostitute, serving other gods and deserting their God. That is why your daughters turn to prostitution, and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. O foolish people! You will be destroyed, for you refuse to understand.” Hosea 4:11-19 New Living Translation
Is it possible that when our children choose a different life, a different style of living, we are responsible? As our children are growing every day it seems they are our little ones, then in the blinding flash of a lightening strike they are moving out to college or on to life as an adult. We find ourselves looking at their choices, their lifestyle, what they choose to define who they are, what is important to them, those things which motivate them, the things which challenge them, and the activities that rejuvenate them. Then one day they announce their choice for the education and/or life they will pursue, leaving us, their parents, wondering where we went wrong or maybe right!
Here is one of those reality checks I’m not so very fond of facing! However honesty, transparency, vulnerability compels me to write on, so I will. God informs us we are not great parents. It is just a fact of life; everyone living here on planet earth is dysfunctional. There is absolutely no possibility that anyone could be a product of Planet Earth and not be dysfunctional. It is nothing to be shamed over, feel guilty about, or move into denial over because it hurts too much; it is just the reality of life on planet earth, the Broken Planet!
We must choose to face this reality with confidence in God’s provision for us, for our families, for our lives, for our very Salvation. Then we may begin life as one who is in the process of Grace. The weight of the rebellion can crush us into oblivion, erasing our very existence! We do not have to be weighed under by the extreme load that is Sin. It is this Jesus came to destroy, the death which evaporates our very essence!
As God brings home His message to Israel, He drops a bomb into the mix. He states, “Why should I punish them?” referring to the daughters & daughters-in-law. “For you men are doing the same thing, sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes.” Hosea 4:14
I find it interesting that over the centuries men have demanded to hold first place, to be the last word in all things. Men want to control the power in all situations, in other words, to be “King of the Castle.” God brings the responsibility for the behavior of the daughters and daughters-in-law home to the fathers and husbands, those who claim authority over their households! It becomes quite interesting how the desire for responsibility wanes very quickly when one is being held accountable for the actions of those in one’s household, or should I say castle?
We are so quick to bring criticism, blame, shame, to throw accusations at those who find themselves in situations they never intended. Often these mirror the behaviors and choices of those adults who were their examples! Too often these are the same adults who punish, complain about the behavior of the young, and attack them for what they have learned at the feet of their elders. “Their love of shame is greater than their love for honor.” Hosea 4:18b NLT
As God is addressing Israel and Judah (us), we surely can learn from this incredible story. “Oh Judah, do not join with those who worship me insincerely at Gilgal and Bethaven. Their worship is mere pretense as they take oaths in the Lord’s name.” Hosea 4:15 NLT
God gave specific instructions for worship: 1) Where to worship 2) Who to worship 3) When to worship 4) What to worship 5) How to worship! And ever since the incident in the Garden humanity has been striving to adjust what God declares as Truth.
God prepared for His people an amazing opportunity each week to stop from everything, everything that could possibly detract from focused time with the Creator. A moment each week in the scheme of eternity where Creator and created would come together to celebrate their connectedness, rejoicing in the reality of this incredible relationship. This day was to infiltrate every particle of creation, so that planet earth would resonate with the Creator’s Universe.
Unfortunately that is not what happened. The enemy beguiled the woman Eve. In turn Eve brought Adam along with her, which eventually led to Hosea and Gomer. God is bringing to Israel’s attention their idolatry, their adultery, their prostitution is causing their destruction, and is leading to their death. Their unwillingness to understand the consequences of their idolatry is leading them to die a death of shame, a death that their children will also suffer!
God keeps pursuing Israel, God continues to warn Judah not to follow Israel’s example. God sends message after message to Israel through Hosea. Each message includes Hosea once again seeking Gomer, searching for her, finding her as she is selling herself, bringing her home, and loving her as God loves Israel. The only way I can see Hosea filling this extreme responsibility is as God places in him a love, patience, a compassion for her. Let’s face it, God filled Hosea with the Fruit of the Spirit! And with that, God heavily dosed Hosea with the Love of God as described in 1 Corinthians 13.
I cannot imagine any other way a man could fulfill the call given to Hosea by God unless there was a massive Divine Intervention. And isn’t that true of all our lives? The only way anyone responds to God’s call is as the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to respond in the positive. If we are left to ourselves we will choose ourselves every time. We choose idolatry. Without Divine Intervention we cannot choose anything else but idolatry, self worship, lust, self gratification. This is Sin —the God Complex!
This is why God’s Grace is absolutely essential to our lives, to our now, our future, even to our past. God’s Grace in our process is the Divine Intervention transforming, recreating, changing everything! God may not change the circumstances of our past. However, He can definitely change how those circumstances impact our here and now! He can and does change our future, the future of our families, and all those we love.
This story of God, Hosea, Gomer, Israel, and Judah is also a story about us. It is a narrative that addresses many issues our families are facing today. The idols are different, but they are there all the same. So is God with the same message of Hope, Restoration, Recreation. He wants to give us new hearts, new minds, new lives, new Everything! Just ask. That is all it takes to get started with His Grace in our process. From that moment on your life will never be the same! It’s not going to be easy, definitely not easy, but it is as simple as asking the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to make it reality in you!
“For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God. So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16 The Voice
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