Day 17: Hosea 5:15-6:6
15 Then I will return to my lair
until they have borne their guilt
and seek my face—
in their misery
they will earnestly seek me.”
1“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth—
then my judgments go forth like the sun.
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
In this passage from Hosea, God reflects on His relationship with Israel and characterizes the people’s love for Him as temporary as the “dew of the morning.” He says here that He desires “steadfast love.” This text implies a characteristic of God that I don’t know if we consider often—the almighty God desires to be a part of a reciprocal romance.
I remember a conversation with an individual at a church in which I used to serve. We were talking about sin and how much it broke the heart of God. The man I was talking with didn’t think our sin affected God that much, and assumed, like many modern people, that willful sin was just an inevitable part of the human condition.
“You’re married, right?” I asked him.
“Well, yeah,” he answered.
“Is it a necessary part of your relationship with your wife for you to cheat on her?” I asked.
Thinking he had misunderstood me, he exclaimed, “Excuse me?”
“You just have to cheat on your wife, don’t you?” I asked.
“What are you talking about, man?” he exclaimed.
“Well, you’re talking about our relationship with God and saying that it’s inevitable to turn our backs on him. I’m just wondering if that’s how you think about all of your close relationships.”
The man was unnerved, but then sat back to think about the analogy. You see, we tend to think about God as one who is over us but who doesn’t desire anything from us. In scripture, however, we find a God who is jealous for us and who longs to be with us as a lover longs to be with her beloved.
Jonathan Burkey | Worship Pastor, Lima Community Church