So I randomly flipped open my Bible last night in bed before turning out the lights and landed in Hosea. The book of Hosea intrigues me, mostly because I had never paid much attention to it until we watched a video called Amazing Love, a story about Hosea. Very powerful movie! They don't have the whole video on youtube anymore, but it is diffidently one worth watching with your family!
Some of the concepts about unconditional love taught in the book of Hosea, and brought out in the movie, are challenging thoughts to think on. The prophet Hosea is told by God to go love a harlot. So Hosea does and she was not faithful to him. In the movie, Hosea, in brokeness and grief in spirit before the Lord over the unfaithfulness of Gomar, his wife, says, "I know now how Your heart grieves over Your people that have abandoned You. So how can You still love us? How? How?" And then it was like it dawned on him, or perhaps the Lord spoke to him, "You love us, because Your love is not dependent on us. Oh my Lord God, how great is Your love." And the whole theme of Hosea really is the people of God rejecting their Lord and true Lover, going astray. Yet the Lord's love is so amazing!
And this is where I landed last night, after skimming through bits and pieces of the book. Hosea 13:9 "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help." How true that is! On our own, without Christ, we do destroy ourselves in every way. Every pursuit, everything we seek after to meet our needs, desires and longings, it destroys us. Because outside of God there is no satisfaction. But in God is our help, the answer and filling of what we really need and long for. Chapter 14 begins with a plea for Israel to return unto the Lord their God, because "thou hast fallen in thine iniquity".
Verse 4 in chapter 14 God says, " I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." So here Israel has left the Lord, sought after idols and things of the flesh, destroyed themselves and have totally fallen. God pleads with them to return to Him and says that he will heal them and love them freely. How could God love so after His people have rejected Him, disobeyed everything He told them to do, rejected His love and everything that He had done for them, and destroyed themselves? God is the Author of Love and it isn't the kind of "love" that Hollywood portays. It in unconditional, self-sacrificing and forgiving love. Yes, God had to allow them to be destroyed by themselves until they came to the end of themselves and had nothing left to cling to and wanted nothing more in the flesh. But when they repented and came back to Him, He promised to heal them and love them freely.
None of us deserve God's love. But what a comforting thought that He has promised to heal where we have sinned and done wrong and brought anxiety and trouble upon ourselves and the He loves us freely.
So today, I'm resting in the amazing thought that I am freely and unconditionally loved by Almighty God! And this is my charge from God, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12) Biblical love has little to nothing to do with the other person. It's a choice. Will I choice, will you choice, to love as we have been loved, regardless of the actions of the other person and whether you are loved in return? We are always loved. It went deep into my heart when I read the words from my Lord that He loves me freely. I have all the love that my soul desires in Him, He calls me to pour forth out of His fountain of love in me to love others as I have been so amazing loved. May we press on in His love for us and in loving others as we have been loved, freely and unconditionally!