amberdover

The High King Lives

Inspirational Wednesday: First Love August 21, 2013

Hello dear ones! Last time we talked about idolatry. Today we will look at the book of Hosea. Here’s a synopsis. Hosea is a prophet of God who is told to marry a harlot. The harlot  Gomer (I keep thinking of Gomer Pyle), leaves Hosea and goes back to playing the prostitute. Hosea actually goes and buys back his wife. Why would God tell His prophet to marry a whore? We see through out the book of Hosea that God uses Hosea’s marriage as an illustration of God’s dealings with Israel. God being the husband and His people Israel being the adulterous wife.  Wow, to be a prophet back then. Think that’s wild? You should read Ezekiel!
God is Love

By Wingchi Poon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • We see that God is a jealous God. He will do whatever it takes to bring back His own. In Israel’s case, God disciplines them by letting them go into captivity. God’s umbrella of protection is removed because of their habitual disobedience and idolatry.

1 REJOICE NOT, O Israel, with exultation as do the peoples, for you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved +[a harlot’s+] hire upon every threshing floor +[ascribing the harvest to the Baals instead of to God+].

2 The threshing floor and the winevat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them.

3 They shall not remain in the Lord’s land, but Ephraim shall return to +[another+] Egypt and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria.” Hosea 9:1-3 Amplified

  • We see that God is merciful over and over again. Just as Hosea buys back His wife, the Lord buys his people back. We ultimately see this in the New covenant when He buys us back with the blood of Jesus. The book of Hosea is directly to Israel but it is indirectly for all God’s people. The gentiles are brought in later under the blood of the new covenant. We  see that God will restore Israel to Him completely. I believe that will happen when the Lord returns in the last days and they realize Jesus is Messiah.

“16 And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi +[my Husband+], and you shall no more call Me Baali +[my Baal+].

17 For I will take away the names of Baalim +[the Baals+] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned {or} seriously remembered by their name.

18 And in that day will I make a covenant for Israel with the living creatures of the open country and with the birds of the heavens and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword and +[abolish battle equipment and+] conflict out of the land and will make you lie down safely.

19 And I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.

20 I will even betroth you to Me in stability {and} in faithfulness, and you shall know (recognize, be acquainted with, appreciate, give heed to, and cherish) the Lord.

21 And in that day I will respond, says the Lord; I will respond to the heavens +[which ask for rain to pour on the earth+], and they shall respond to the earth +[which begs for the rain it needs+],

22 And the earth shall respond to the grain and the wine and the oil +[which beseech it to bring them forth+], and these shall respond to Jezreel +[restored Israel, who prays for a supply of them+].

23 And I will sow her for Myself anew in the land, and I will have love, pity, {and} mercy for her who had not obtained love, pity, {and} mercy; and I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people, and they shall say, You are my God!

Hosea 2:16 -23
Bride and groom cropped

By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

  • We’ve seen that sometimes God will remove His hand of blessing in order to bring us back to Him when we stray.
  • I want to take a detour real quick and say that God wants to be pursued and loved as number one. Humans are made in the image of God. We have a bit of his essence and character in us. All of creation points to who God is. Like an artist who leaves his mark, we can see God’s fingerprints all over us.
  • Women show a special part of God. Science proves that men and women are different especially in the way we think. We can see different sides of God by looking at the needs and characteristics of each gender. We can also learn about God by how the curse left us empty. Men and women were affected differently by the curse. Men were cursed to failure and women to loneliness. The books “Captivated” and “Wild at Heart” have a good bit to say on this subject. Praise God, Jesus came to break the curse!
  • The curse is interesting because it was caused by idolatry. Adam and Eve trusted in themselves instead of God. They wanted to be gods. By rebelling against God they were cursed with an emptiness that can only be filled by God himself. Think about how Men desperately need respect and women desperately need love.
  • Before you start thinking this is a dictatorship I want you to consider the quote below. My friend, the Bible is a love story. We’re living the greatest love story ever!

“What a comfort to know that this universe we live in is relational at it’s core, that our God is a tenderhearted God who yearns for relationship with us. If you have any doubt about that , simply look at the message he sent is in Woman. Amazing. Not only does God long for us, but he longs to be loved by us.” ~ Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

“God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God’s heart is, ‘Why won’t you choose me?‘ It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. ‘You will find me,’ says the Lord, ‘when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jer. 29:13). In other words, ‘Look for me, pursue me–I want you to pursue me.’ Amazing. As Tozer says, ‘God waits to be wanted’.”

~Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
Sépulcre Arc-en-Barrois 111008 09

By Vassil (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • The story of Hosea is beautiful. In it we realize that God isn’t a dictator. God is a lover who simply wants us to be faithful in our love to Him.
  • In this twisted modern culture, adultery is celebrated. Selfishness is celebrated. It shouldn’t be so. Maybe you can understand why a spouse would commit adultery when their spouse is severely flawed. That’s not quite as bad you may say.
  • But think about this: Our God made every part of us. Every good thing comes from God. We would not have brains to think, mouths to speak, and eyes to see with out Jesus. We would not have coffee to drink, clouds to watch, and emotions to feel if God had not made them.  Our Creator is a faithful and good “husband”. He takes care of all our needs. He shed His own blood to buy us back from sin. If anyone deserves faithfulness it is Jesus Christ.
  • Think about your own relationships. How do you feel when you are neglected? Ignored? Cheated on? Put on the back burner? Don’t you want to be someone’s soul mate? Don’t you want them to have eyes just for you? God’s feelings are so much stronger and He deserves that kind of affection more than we ever could.

So when you are hurt by a friend or spouse, think about how Jesus feels when we treat Him the same.  Human beings can’t satisfy your soul. They will fail and you will fail. Why not give your life to Jesus, the only one who can satisfy? He will be there when every one else leaves you lonely. He wants your faithful friendship. He loves you.

  • When we are judged, it is those that know  Jesus that will enter into God’s kingdom. Notice in Matthew 7: 21-23 that these people had done great works in God’s name but  Jesus didn’t know them. (Amplified version)

“21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly +[disregarding My commands+].”


Efesolibreria

By Domènec Leal (Fotografia propia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Lastly, I leave you with the letter to the Church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation 2:2-5 Amplified version.

2 I know your industry {and} activities, laborious toil {and} trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked +[men+] and have tested {and} critically appraised those who call +[themselves+] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors {and} liars.

3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted {or} become exhausted {or} grown weary.

4 But I have this +[one charge to make+] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first +[you have deserted Me, your first love+].

5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously +[when first you knew the Lord+], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind {and} repent.”

  • Keep in mind that this was written to a real church in Asia minor. The church at Ephesus was great at works and apologetics but they were missing something. They had forgotten what it mean’t to know the Lord. They were so busy working for God that they didn’t spend time with God.
  • Some say the lampstand is the Holy Spirit and salvation itself but lets take this in context. As I said, Ephesus (and the other six churches mentioned in Revelation) was a real church in Asia Minor. We see in verse 1 of the second chapter in the Amplified version of the Bible that the church itself was the lamp stand.

Flickr - eflon - Father and Son

By Alex from Ithaca (Father and Son) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Is Jesus your first love? Are you spending time with him or have idols become your heart’s desire? Today I pray that we will all return to our first love, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

2 Responses to “Inspirational Wednesday: First Love”

  1. GodGirl Says:

    Thanks Amber. I think I’ve been idolising ‘worry’ lately… Holding onto my fears instead of onto God. I need to get back on track… Thanks for such an insightful post.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s