TO CHEW ON: "I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice
In lovingkindness and mercy
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness
And you shall know the Lord." Hosea 2:19-20
God lays bare His heart in Hosea with almost shocking vulnerability. Like a rejected earthly lover, we see His reflex to hurt the one who has hurt Him: "I will take away…take back…uncover…cause mirth to cease…destroy…punish" (Hosea 2:9-13).
Then He will win His loved one (Israel) back "…allure her…speak comfort…give her..." He recalls their early relationship -- the days Israel was completely dependent on Him during the exodus from Egypt to Canaan. He wants that relationship with her again. Then she will call Him Husband, not Master. She will be so taken up with Him, she will forget the names of her former lovers. She will know him (Hosea 2:14-18).
There was the nub of the matter. God wanted a relationship with His people. He wanted them to know Him. He still wants such a relationship with us. The outward trappings of religious ritual and observance are not what He's after. Rather, He wants a relationship that invades us, takes us over, claims our loyalties to the deepest levels.
It's easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are already there. Until we observe our natural reactions to life. What are our preoccupations? Our pursuits? Do we worry? Our answers to these questions may show us we still have a long way to go before we can say He is truly engraved on our minds and hearts -- that we are experiencing the eternal life potential of knowing Him.
PRAYER: Dear God, please show me where I am going after other lovers. Help me to know You at a deep, personal, life-impacting level. Amen.
MORE: "Knowing You" by Graham Kendrick, sung by Robin Mark
Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.