“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen
Monday, April 28, 2014
A Devotional for Women from Tyndale House Publishers
I love receiving this daily devotional from Tyndale House right into my inbox. They're short and easy to read but always have a nugget of something I need for the day. I look at them as God's gentle reminder to take time to reflect and meditate on Him and what he has done for me! They don't, nor are expected to, replace daily reading in His Word, the Holy Scripture. I use them to complement study.
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It is difficult to imagine Hosea's feelings when God told him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him. He may not have wanted to do it, but he obeyed. He married a woman named Gomer. Hosea knew ahead of time that his wife would be unfaithful and that their married life would become a living object lesson to the adulterous northern kingdom. Hosea's marriage to an unfaithful woman would illustrate God's relationship to the unfaithful nation of Israel.
What did Gomer think and feel? What was her reaction when a holy man plucked her out of a life of prostitution and made her his wife? The original language doesn't say Gomer was already a prostitute but a promiscuous woman--a girl with a reputation. Just the girl all the boys want to know but no one wants to love, the very motivation that often causes her behavior. Did Gomer believe Hosea could love her? One assumes that Hosea had a choice of several wanton women with whom he could have obeyed God's command. Why did he choose Gomer? We don't know.
Hosea and Gomer had three children together. She was apparently unfaithful for a while, but Hosea bought her back from her enslavement. She had sold herself into prostitution. Did this second chance mean anything to Gomer? We only know that Hosea "laid down the law" about Gomer staying at home and chaste for "many days." If the parallels hold, Hosea 3:3-5 may indicate that Gomer put her past behind her and became devoted to her marriage.
Probably the closest we come to feeling what Gomer felt are those times when we act unfaithfully towards God yet he continues to faithfully lavish his love on us. We know Gomer better than we might think at first, for she was what we are--sinners offered overwhelming grace! Yet how often, even when we understand the lengths God has gone for us, do we treat his grace lightly!
God often required extraordinary obedience from his prophets who were facing extraordinary times. God may ask you to do something difficult and extraordinary too. If he does, how will you respond? Will you obey him, trusting that he who knows everything has a special purpose for his request? Will you be able to accept the fact that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve and not you personally?
God's presence and truth can be found even in the most shameful situations.