Pulling on God’s Side.

rope pullHosea, Joel, Amos and Obadiah, each one of these men lived and served the Lord throughout different times and yet all dealt with many of the same cultural influences that continued to pull the people of Israel away from God. As I read through each of these books I begin to see a pattern that is similar to that of the Judges, a pattern that has its high and low points in the spiritual lives of the Israelites. Hosea describes what sounds like a time of depression or low point spiritually for the people. Joel and Amos tell us how the people become accustomed to living in sin and how it had become a way of life. During the time of Amos the people had come out of a time of depression and lived well, enjoying peace and prosperity all the while leaving God behind.

Gods timing and plan called for times of blessing and times of suffering, He wanted the people to know who He was and through His divine power He could alter their paths. When we get to Obadiah we begin to see a fall back into a place of fear and judgment as the people come up against the people of Edom. Through the words of Obadiah we read about the promise of restoration to the faithful remnant. Through the lives of these prophets God was calling His people back to Him, wanting them to turn away from the ways of other cultures and people.

What an amazing example again of God’s love and grace, He does not give up on His people when they turn away. We have assurances and promises today through Christ that when He comes again we will be with Him in heaven. Our culture today has a hard time understanding what this means. Our culture much like those in the days of the prophets pulls us in a different direction, opposite to that of our loving gracious God. As I work in a position of leadership I pray that I can effectively be “pulling” on God’s side helping people to know His love.

God Calls Hosea

Hosea(Reflections on the book of Hosea as a whole).

Hosea’s calling as a prophet unravels through a humanly painful experience that gives us a picture of God’s unconditional love for all his people through the living example of unfaithfulness in the marriage between Hosea and Gomer; a marriage that seemed “doomed” from the beginning. The experiences, the emotions and the actions that Hosea experienced would have brought any strong man to his knees; this was a special assignment from God. Hosea, called by God was made strong to be an example of the love, grace and mercy the Lord had for His people.

It might be that a relationship can withstand a single indiscretion of unfaithfulness and I have witnessed God’s power and healing love through the trials of a personal friend. When we read Hosea’s story and recount the continuous unfaithfulness of Gomer and God’s people we can reflect on how this same pattern was and still is active in the world today. Through Hosea we get a picture of who God is and His unchanging faithfulness. Chapter 3 gives us the beautiful picture of God’s redeeming grace and mercy “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.” (NLT).

Through countless infractions we read of impending destruction, the turning change of heart because of the love God had for His people and chance given for people to return back to the Lord. Hosea’s call to bring the people back to God through these events is a call like no other. As I have been called to serve among God’s people I have to pray, trust and know that God is a pillar of faithfulness and that I must draw from that strength in my own life and ministry.