“Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.” – Nancy Spiegelberg

 

what a powerful quote… what truth contained…

 

firstly lets start at the end…  it also reminds us how lavish the love and grace of God is…. if i had known you better, i would have come running with a bucket… expect great things from God, His love is lavish and in Him we find rest and hope and grace and healing and restoration….

 

last night i read hosea 2.  awesome chapter.  powerful chapter.  a chapter that makes you take a breath.  i encourage you to read it.  i have included it down the bottom of this post in the CEV version and will be quoting i am sure :o)

 

we read in hosea 2 about an unfaithful wife, a picture of Israel and Judah’s unfaithfulness to God.  we can also look and see our own lives in there.  there are times when we are unfaithful and we turn to our modern day idols, we make the choice to sin and rebel against God.

what was God’s response to Israel’s unfaithfulness?

I, the LORD, will build

a fence of thorns

to block her path.

I will make her barren

like a desert,

and she will die of thirst.

I’ll take back

my wool and my linen

that cover her body.

10Then I’ll strip her naked

in the sight of her lovers.

 

 

this is not an act of simple punishment but a removal of those things that she relied on and sought comfort in.

 

Israel, I, the LORD,

will lure you into the desert

and speak gently to you.

 

God is more interested in our faithfulness to Him than our happiness and our comfort.  the call is to walk holy not happy.  God refines and transforms and changes us and the process is often the fire of trial and testing.

but  oh what beauty there is to know that God will not abandon us to our unfaithfulness and rebellion.  that he lures us into the wilderness so we can return to him.

 

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4-5

 

let us be first love people.  people who embrace the work of God in our lives, who are spoken gently too and who hear the voice of our Lord drawing us to himself.  let us be people who abide in Christ who find our hope and rest and satisfaction in him and his love.

 

 

 

Hosea 2

I will make her barren

like a desert,

and she will die of thirst.

4You children are the result

of her unfaithfulness,

and I’ll show you no pity.

5Your mother was unfaithful.

She was disgraceful and said,

” I’ll run after my lovers.

Everything comes from them–

my food and drink,

my linen and wool,

my olive oil and wine.”

6I, the LORD, will build

a fence of thorns

to block her path.

7She will run after her lovers,

but not catch them;

she will search,

but not find them.

Then she will say, ” I’ll return

to my first husband.

Life was better then.”

8She didn’t know that her grain,

wine, and olive oil

were gifts from me,

as were the gold and silver

she used in worshiping Baal. [c] 9So I’ll hold back the harvest

of grain and grapes.

I’ll take back

my wool and my linen

that cover her body.

10Then I’ll strip her naked

in the sight of her lovers. [d] No one can rescue her.

11I’ll stop Israel’s celebrations–

no more New Moon Festivals,

Sabbaths, or other feasts.

12She said, ” My lovers gave me

vineyards and fig trees

as payment [e] for sex.” Now I, the LORD, will ruin

her vineyards and fig trees;

they will become clumps of weeds

eaten by wild animals.

13I’ll punish her for the days

she worshiped Baal

and burned incense to him.

I’ll punish her for the times

she forgot about me

and wore jewelry and rings

to attract her lovers.

I, the LORD, have spoken!

The LORD Will Help Israel

14Israel, I, the LORD,

will lure you into the desert

and speak gently to you.

15I will return your vineyards,

and then Trouble Valley [f] will become Hopeful Valley.

You will say ” Yes” to me

as you did in your youth,

when leaving Egypt.

16I promise that from that day on, you will call me your husband instead of your master. [g] 17I will no longer even let you mention the names of those pagan gods that you called ” Master.” 18And I will agree to let you live in peace–you will no longer be attacked by wild animals and birds or by weapons of war. 19I will accept you as my wife forever, and instead of a bride price [h] I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, 20and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am. 21I will command the sky to send rain on the earth, 22and it will produce grain, grapes, and olives in Jezreel Valley. 23I will scatter the seeds and show mercy to Lo-Ruhamah. [i] I will say to Lo-Ammi, [j] ” You are my people,” and they will answer, ” You are our God.”