Thursday, February 2, 2012

God loves me better than I love Him

And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.
Hosea 2:19-20

God is full of mercy and compassion. That is the character seen in this chapter. God is not happy with Israel and Judah. His people have strayed from loving Him. They have gone after an idolatrous lifestyle. Love for their idols fills their hearts. He rightfully compares them to prostitutes and unfaithful spouses. They have forgotten that they have been blessed through the covenant, and not their outside "lovers". They have assumed that their idolatry had given them everything they had.

God has a harsh and simple remedy meant to recapture the attention and affection of His people. He would strip away all that was familiar to them. They would lose it all. They would be reduced to having nothing. They would be removed from the sources of their unfaithfulness and forced into a position where they could evaluate their hearts before God. And in that lowest of pains they would again see what they had forgotten. They would be ready to be restored. They would repent and return to their first love.

When God's people were back to that point again, then God would restore his bountiful love and blessing. He would hold them close and dear. He would reinstate intimate covenant blessings. He would shower them in righteousness and justice as they again committed in a covenantal relationship with God. He would graciously deal with Israel in a faithful love and a tender mercy. God's faithfulness would be their joy even as they had returned from being unfaithful. And they would be blessed with the knowledge of God... the greatest joy and gift of relationship with the LORD.

God is faithful even when we are not. He will bring His justice and refining work to bear so that we will return to Him. He will always welcome repentance and respond to it with love and faithfulness. I am thankful that God will always love me better than I love Him!

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