Determined to Desert
If you haven’t read Hosea recently, take a look again, though I warn you, it’s not easy to read. Through Hosea, God reveals much about us. And He reveals much about Himself here as well–the God we are pursuing.
To me, it revealed my propensity to desert God. To run from Him. To run to others and other things.
“For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.” Hosea 11:7 (NLT)
I run to other forms of filling. I want to escape to places that I believe will bring love, healing, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Too often, I do this. I wonder how often am I seeking fulfillment in other things and don’t even realize it.
But God screams out to me – to us – to return to Him. He says it over and over in Scripture to return, to run, and to cling to Him. His love is so great. God is not satisfied with a broken, distant, half-way, or “just when we are in the mood” relationship. In fact, God’s anger shows up when we don’t go to Him. And, wouldn’t you be angry? If you were in a relationship with someone and that person kept going out on you and going elsewhere for love, wouldn’t you be mad? I would.
So I ask myself, why do I run, seek escape, and pursue that somewhere else, that something else, that someone else? Why is another’s approval of me deserving of my pursuit rather than God’s?
Instead of being determined to desert Him, let’s determine to go deeper, to seek Him with all of our hearts, and to receive, anew, the truth of His more incredible, more amazing love than we could ever imagine. And like the woman in Hosea, let’s remind each other that His love is greater than any escape or fulfillment elsewhere we may attempt.
Healing for the Repentant
1 Return, OIsrael, to the Lord your God,
for your sins have brought you down.
2 Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.
3Assyriacannot save us,
nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made,
‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone
do the orphans find mercy.”
4 The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever.
5 I will be toIsrael
like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israelwill blossom like the lily;
it will send roots deep into the soil
like the cedars inLebanon.
6 Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
7 My people will again live under my shade.
They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
They will be as fragrant as the wines ofLebanon.
8 “OIsrael,[a] stay away from idols!
I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
all your fruit comes from me.”
9 Let those who are wise understand these things.
Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
and righteous people live by walking in them.
But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.