Monday, August 31, 2009

As true today

There is one central message that runs throughout the book of Hosea. Despite the unfaithful wife and the strangely named children, the main point is about Israel's relationship with God. God blessed them, took them out of Egypt, cared for them and they chose not to reciprocate. The people chose to do whatever they wanted, to ignore God and live as if he didn't exist.

The book of Hosea is God saying, "Okay, I'll do the same. See what life is like without me." The result is a book filled with the promise of future violence and darkness. The people have turned to the Assyrians to help them in their time of need and it is those Assyrians who will one day carry them off into slavery. They have picked their god and now they will endure the consequences.

The same can be said of us today. What god have we chosen? When we choose to turn to something other than God, we can expect to get exactly that. We choose ourselves, our own power, wealth, talent, understanding. We choose the government to take care of our needs. We choose others, not as compatriots or partners, but as saviors to do the work to save us. We should not be surprised when we find that after making such a choice we are left with exactly what we chose - imperfection, pain and darkness.

Hosea's message was not one of total darkness, however. Our God is a God of hope and love, after all. Hosea offers the same chance that the other prophets did, the same chance that we have today. Repent. Turn from our own desires and pursuits. Follow God instead of yourself. Make His face what we earnestly seek. Then we will find the peace, comfort and freedom that we were created to enjoy.

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