I read the book of Hosea in the Bible shortly after becoming a Christian and it has been my favorite book in the Bible ever since. I share this with you all today, in hopes that it will help you to understand and to feel God’s peace and contentment that He wants to give you. If you are unfamiliar with this story I encourage you to read the book of Hosea. God compares Israel to a woman and throughout the entire book Israel continues to turn away from God and looks to get her needs met elsewhere. And in the last chapter of the book, after Israel comes to her senses God simply says “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely“. I will quote Hosea chapter two at the end of this post….
“‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.'” This woman claims that she gets essentially everything she would have needed to survive back then, from her “lovers” – or another word would be her idols.
So God takes away her lovers, He puts a wall up so she cannot reach these idols that she was chasing after. God aches and says that she has not acknowledged or understood that He is the one who gives her what she needs for a full life.
And so God painfully lets her reap the consequences of her sin – but it doesn’t end there!
He takes this broken woman, who has chased all that she could chase to find fulfillment, happiness, security, and worth – and has come up empty. And he leads her gently into the wilderness, speaks tenderly to her, forgives her, and betroths her to Him forever. Clothing her in righteousness, love and compassion and He says to her “You are mine.“
I was this woman, I am this woman.
After almost eight years of being a disciple I can go back to this book and get emotional reading this. Before I became a Christian I was searching to be fulfilled by people, longing to be of value to someone. Gauging my worth by wether or not I was good enough to be someones priority. And time after time, my heart was broken. Time after time people made mistakes, let me down, and didn’t choose me. I was a slave to the lie that my worth is measured by other people.
Thankfully God chose to reveal His truth to me – that no matter who or what I put my value in, if it is not Him, I will come up empty handed. He called me out of my brokenness to call me His forever.
And today, as a Christian for eight years, as a wife and as a mom I still find myself looking a lot like this woman. I have a wonderful husband who finds me more than worthy to be his forever, who makes me feel valued. I have three children who give me purpose and love me unconditionally. Yet, I can still look like this woman.
Searching for my value in people’s opinions of me, my performance as a wife and mom. Looking to fill my heart with human opinions and thoughts. Seeking approval from people, whether it be my mom, a friend at church, a stranger in the grocery store watching as I rear my children, or my husband. Looking for someone to tell me that I am good enough.
And yet, God still patiently waits, time and time again for me. Waiting for me to turn to Him and to say “You are my God. It is better to trust in You than to trust in humans. I will call on you, and you will answer me. I will find my confidence in You. I will be fully satisfied by You.”
He allures me into His wilderness and speaks tenderly to me telling me that I am worthy. He reminds me again of His truth, I am worth giving up His only son to be tortured and to suffer His wrath. He tells me that I am enough, I am loved, I am adored, and I am His.
“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
3 Otherwise I will strip her naked
and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land,
and slay her with thirst.
4 I will not show my love to her children,
because they are the children of adultery.
5 Their mother has been unfaithful
and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water,
my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’
6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’
8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,”
declares the Lord.
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord.
21 “In that day I will respond,”
declares the Lord—
“I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”