Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week 3: Hosea

This week in our series "Drama & Dedication: The Life of the Prophets" we discussed the prophet Hosea.  Like Amos, Hosea was also called to deliver a message to the Northern kingdom of Israel.  While Amos' message to the Iraelites was of God's demand for justice and righteousness, Hosea's message to the Israelites was of God's demand for faithfulness.  God not only called Hosea to deliver this message to Israel, but to also personally understand how deep God's love is for Israel.  God told Hosea to marry a prostitute (Gomer) who would inevitably be an unfaithful wife, and when she strayed from their relationship, Hosea was to take her back as his wife and continue to love and forgive her. 

So we see this parallel with Hosea's relationship with Gomer and God's relationship with Israel.  God loved and chose Israel, but Israel kept rejecting God and being unfaithful.  But, God continued to love and forgive Israel even through their unfaithfulness.  So through Hosea, God pronounced judgment on Israel for their sin and declared that repentance is the only road to reconciliation.  We learn from Hosea's story, then, that God desires us to repent of our sins and be reconciled to God.  And that God's love for us is unconditional.  NOTHING we do will ever separate us from the love of God, because just like the Israelites, God will pursue us and love us even when we have strayed from our relationship with God.

In response, we each took a piece of paper and wrote down one thing we can do this week to begin strengthening our commitment and faithfulness to God.  Maybe it is praying daily, reading the Bible or being more thankful for the blessings in our lives.  Whatever it may be, we wrote it down and committed ourselves to it this week and hope to make it a habit in our lives beyond this week.

So, what will you commit to doing this week to help strengthen your commitment and faithfulness to God?  Comment on this post with your responses!

We spent the rest of the evening playing Hide & Seek--reminding us while we had fun that God constantly seeks out the lost and unfaithful.

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