I’m devoting the next few weeks to working on a project that’s going to demand most of my mental energy. So apart from the usual Mon-Fri Checkout which will continue, I won’t be writing an additional daily article. Instead, I’m going to post a series of daily devotionals on Hosea that I wrote a few years ago.
“I will go after my lovers” (Hosea 2:5).
God’s “I will” is always coming into conflict with our “I will.” Instead of, “Not my will, but your will be done,” we assert, “Not your will, but my will be done.” Instead of asking God, “What will you have me to do?” we, as it were, look God in the eye and wonder, “What will I have you to do?”
Hosea’s repeated re-assertion of the “I will of God” was rendered necessary by the daringly disobedient “I will” of Israel. Here, Hosea portrays Israel as a wife with a perfect husband. He lovingly brings her home all she needs. He opens the door and puts bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and drink on the table. She takes all these gifts and packs them away in her cupboards. But then she walks straight past her loving husband without so much as a “thank you,” and walks out the door, saying, “I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”
Israel took the loving gifts and ignored the loving Giver. Worse, she attributed the loving gifts to the enemies and opponents of the loving Giver. And then, as if that was not bad enough, she turned her back on the loving Giver, and went to praise and party with “lovers” who were actually enemies not only of herself but also of the loving Giver.
Confused believer, surely you must confess that you have reenacted this scene many times in your life. The Lord has been a perfect Husband to you and has richly blessed you in His love. But, instead of saying “I will go after my Lover,” you have said, “I will go after my lovers.” You have taken His gifts and ignored Him.
How many times have you bypassed opportunities to worship and pray in order to go after worldly pastimes and pleasures? Are these your lovers? What has TV ever done for your soul? Did sport die for you? Does music ever live to make intercession for you? Does your investment portfolio love you with an everlasting love? Have your friends laid down their lives for you? Turn away from what is turning you away from Christ. Resolve by His grace, “I will go after my Lover.”