True love is of God, Whose love is infinite. Love is sovereign, love defies reasoning, it is apart from reason. Love is not according to logic, love is according to love. Love goes all the way, and then love goes one step further.
Some prophets preached God’s message, others wrote it down, but Hosea, now, Hosea lived it out. Because of his marriage, Hosea’s story is able to show you and me, like nothing else could, what God feels, His depth of suffering, His heart response to His people.
For Gomer this felt like total deprivation, and yet it was the very best thing for her, as Hosea wooed her back to himself. Allowing God to allure me, when I sense I am in the wilderness, letting Him speak tenderly to me, allowing this time alone with God to be enough makes these wilderness times turning points in my life.
And so, sipping their wine, glowing from within from its warmth, warming themselves by the fire, telling stories, singing songs, the family must have felt as though life itself was, after all, quite beautiful.
God knows life is filled with tragedy. Sin is ugly, but God is the God of beauty, and in Him you and I can overcome these things. At the end of the Bible, in Revelation, God is sitting on His throne and all around is a perfect rainbow, not half an arc, but a whole circle, heaven and earth finally made one.
The difference between Noah and everyone else was merely their response to God’s grace. Everybody else scoffed, but Noah took God seriously. The difference between those who were saved and those who died in the flood was the difference between being in the ark and being outside it.
It is absolutely fascinating to find millennia old blueprints for a massive ocean liner in the Bible, but there it is. God commenced with precise and explicit instructions, down to the cubit.
And my next question to myself is how what I support reflects that truth? How much of my church’s budget, for example, a budget I regularly contribute to, is spent on a terrific worship service Sunday morning compared to developing, sustaining, and handing on depth and breadth of relationship with our Lord? Compared to caring for our community, and our earth? What concerns our church governing board the most—money? Numbers of people on a Sunday morning?
As I reflect on my own faith, I have to ask myself in what ways does my life reflect my statement that nothing is more important to me than relationship with God, and passing that on to the next generation? How does the way I channel my resources, the way I prioritize my energy, and my focus, the way I live out my dailies, reflect what I say is my conviction?
As each new generation forged ahead with brilliance, and accomplishments, all away from the “presence of God” which Cain had left far behind him, the sense of God waned until finally, a generation was born into a time where even the thought of God was gone.