1 April 2011Hosea 5:15 - 6:6
"After two days, he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him." (v. 2)
There is a flow in the readings for this week. We have
considered the way God calls each of us to obedience, and at how
disobedience can have brutal consequences. Today, we are looking at
the mercy and love of God.
Hosea is a difficult book to understand. It tells of unfaithful wives, and the punishment meted out to them (chapters 1-2); it gives detailed accounts of the unfaithfulness of the nations and how this destroys the covenant with God (chapters 4-10). Where is the good news in this Scripture? It seems to go against everything we know of God.
But it is not that simple. Hosea prophecies that God will not abandon God's people, and that God will "come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth" (verse 3). No matter how unrepentant we are, and how badly wrong we get it, God will not abandon us. There is nothing we can do that will drive God away. Again, we are presented with God who loves us unconditionally and without restraint. All we need to do is acknowledge God and accept the forgiveness we are being offered.
Sometimes we can feel abandoned because we feel no one could possibly love us. Take some time to acknowledge God's love and allow yourself to be healed.
How do we continue to understand the good news even when parts of the Bible are difficult and seem negative?
God accepts us back into relationship even when we are unfaithful. To what extent can we do the same to those who let us down?