By Gloria Nesloney
Psalm 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD:
for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
WHERE IS RIO GRANDE AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT?
If you are from South Texas, you would say in South Texas. You would say it’s at your back door if you are from Brownsville, El Paso, or Del Rio. You would be right to say it is in Colorado. You would be right to say it is in New Mexico. You would be right to say in the United States. You would be right to say in Mexico. You would be right, and you could still be wrong. How? The perspective of where you are and what you know at the time. If you grew up in the Rio Grande, you may feel safe and know the diversity, great places to hang out, the location to stay away from, and the people you could get along with and those you wouldn’t trust.
You would want to go again if you had a wonderful experience there. If you didn’t have a great experience there, you wouldn’t return. You would want to go if you heard only great things about the place. If you only heard bad things about there, you would stay away. If you were a journalist, this would be great news for you. But if you were someone who wants to promote Real Estate or Tourism. Each person would tell their own story in their own way depending on what they were emphasizing.
The Rio Grande, known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte or simply the Río Bravo, is one of the principal rivers in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The length of the Rio Grande is over 1,800 miles. It runs from south-central Colorado in the United States and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. It also splits into other rivers like Rio Chula or Rio de Taos.
If I told you it ran through San Antonio, you would probably think I am talking about San Antonio, Texas, and I would be wrong. But if you knew I was talking about San Antonio and San Antonio Park in New Mexico, if you knew where that was, then you would know I was telling the truth. Again if I said it is 20 minutes from Alamo, you need to know if I am talking about the monument in San Antonio, Texas or the small city in South Texas.
The cities included in the Rio Grande Valley are Port Isabel, Los Fresnos, Harlingen, San Juan, Brownsville, San Benito, Raymondville, Elsa, Mercedes, Donna, Alamo, Pharr, McAllen, Mission, and Rio Grande City, along with some valleys, hills, farmland, industrial and commercial properties.
TRADITIONS OR RELIGIONS IN RIO GRANDE?
Religion has been present in the Rio Grande Valley since the Spanish colonization. There is a significant shrine in San Juan. People travel from all over the world to come. One offshoot of this religion is the worship of Santa Muerte. It is not of the same religion, but many people believe it is. However, the offshoot is a cult image, a female deity, to honor the dead. Some people put shrines in their homes and public places, not knowing it is related to idolatry. It reminds me of an overly used phrase in the movie the Fiddler on the Roof who constantly says “It’s tradition” People don’t even know why they continue in the practice of the rituals for lighting candles and particular incense; they just know to do it without question or because they are forced to participate in idolatry.
THE WRITER AND CONTEXT
The reason for this explanation is to get a concept of how to understand the bible when it speaks of people from regions, cities, or nations. To get an understanding of its people and their beliefs or traditions is in the details of perspective from the writer’s point of view and experience. When addressing people within a tribe, the writer could use a figure of speech to describe a group of people like those from another region.
The writer could compare someone from the inner city as business-oriented or from the coastlands as a merchant or mariner. Maybe they can be described as those who live in desert places and have learned to live off the land. Maybe they are skilled individuals who travel. Whatever the writer is trying to portray is as best as he knows how to describe with his own experience of what he has seen or heard about people, places, and things.
JACOB AND ISRAEL
Let’s look at the names Jacob and Israel. When described, the author, prophet, or apostle sometimes refers to the same person in the Bible, but they are used in different contexts and have different meanings. Jacob was the son of Isaac and the twin brother of Esau. The name Jacob means "heel-catcher" or "supplanter" in Hebrew, which refers to the story in the Bible where Jacob was born holding onto Esau's heel. Jacob was known for his cunning and deceitfulness, demonstrated when he tricked his brother Esau out of his birthright and blessing.
God changed Jacob's name to Israel. The name Israel means "God prevails" or "God strives," It was given to Jacob after he wrestled with an angel and prevailed. This event symbolized Jacob's transformation from a deceptive and self-centered person to a man who had faith in God and was committed to fulfilling God's plan for his life.
So while Jacob and Israel refer to the same person, they represent different aspects of his character. Jacob represents his early life as a deceiver, while Israel represents his later transformation and relationship with God. Jacob, however, is not a location, but Israel is. Israel is a nation of tribes, people set apart for God, a culture with different customs, traditions, and one GOD, unlike their neighbors.
So what happened to Israel, the nation? They did not do what was right in the sight of God. They raised statutes and idols and worshipped them. They became people who were not set apart but indulged in all types of sin. They were not keeping the commandments of God. Instead, they were prostituting themselves even in holy places. The nation was divided, and the people of God were becoming viler then some of their neighbors. The worse part of it was the children of Israel were forced to the new rules and regulations that they were taught, they didn’t know any better and so they did as their forefathers did because “It’s Tradition”
WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU STILL HOLD ON TO THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHY YOU DO IT? THE SAME IS TRUE ABOUT HABITS, ADDICTIONS, SUPERSTITIONS, AND BELIEFS.
TEST: 1. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION
WHERE IS GOMER, AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT IT?
Some may not know where Gomer is or what they are known for. They are nomadic tribes traveling by horse from Northern Iran and South Russia. If you are confused, it is because you have never heard of Gomer, or maybe your information about Gomer was a different answer than the question required.
TEST: 2. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION
WHO IS GOMER, AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT HIM?
If I gave you more detail in the question, you would be certain of who I was talking about. Maybe I was asking about Gomer Pyle, a fictional character from "The Andy Griffith Show.”
Maybe I am referring to Gomer in the bible, he was the eldest son of Japheth (Noah’s son)
What is the best way to get more information? Ask more questions that will lead to your answer.
TEST: 3. LISTEN TO THE QUESTION
WHO IS GOMER FROM THE BOOK OF HOSEA, AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT HER?
Gomer was Hosea’s wife. We will talk a little more about her to know who she is or what the author wants to tell us about her.
MEANING OF SOME NAMES AND PLACES IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA
Beeri - Hosea’s Father, a Prophet in the book of Isaiah. belonging to a fountain; expounder
Hosea - Help or salvation, like Joshua or Yeshua, where we get “Yah Saves” God Saves. He came from a family of prophets and followers of God.
Diblaim - Was Gomer’s parent. Diblaim was already known for being a prostitute. It doesn’t mention if this parent was the father or mother, as the name is masculine. Most people mistake prostitutes for women only.
Gomer - Hosea's wife means “complete” and can be a man's or woman’s name.
Question: Could it be that Gomer was a child born out of prostitution? Could it be that Gomer was not a prostitute by choice but by family heritage, being a sex slave, or becoming numb to the pain, ridicule, torment, and torture she just didn’t care anymore? Some families in my hometown are known as thieves, and the children were labeled as thieves only because of their last names. Or the local drug addicts who had children that didn’t have a chance to become great because of the labels they were given. I can only imagine how difficult their lives were to escape those challenging situations and how many stayed trapped because they were mocked and shamed instead of getting help from others. I wonder how many of us are known because of what our families did, even though that was not what we did. I have been guilty of practicing traditions that my family does that have roots of idolatry. I have also been guilty of judging people according to their appearances, lifestyle, or family labels. I can only imagine what labels they put on me because of what I was doing or for those who knew my family. I’m sure they were true, but that was not who I wanted to be, and that is not who I am today. I am a Child of God and identify as His favorite because He has redeemed and loves me.
Maybe some of you still carry shame from your family heritage. What if we continued in sinful living because that was what we were taught, and since no one told us it was wrong, we continued? I continued in a destructive lifestyle from the age of 8 until the age of 21.
Jezreel - God sows and plants First born son to Hosea and Gomer
Lo-Ruhamah - the daughter born to Gomer but doesn’t mention that she belongs to Hosea. Her name means “Not loved”
Lo-Ammi - was a son born right after the daughter; again, doesn’t mention that he belonged to Hosea. His name means “Not my people”
Just like those from the Rio Grande who grow up surrounded by rituals, or like Gomer surrounded by a culture that made it ok to be a prostitute, we too get trapped into things that don’t please God. But there is good news….Your Identity is not in your last name, where you live, or who you used to be. You don’t have to carry the Scarlet letter or labels anymore. There is freedom because we have a Redeemer! Do you know God changes your name?
HOSEA’S SIDE OF THE STORY
Has it ever come as a surprise when you hear someone speak about themselves in a good way, but their character doesn’t quite match up? I want to believe them, but they have deceived me before. Character is everything, even behind closed doors when no one is watching. But when it is blatant, it is obvious; everyone knows. According to the writer in the Book of Hosea, Gomer was a prostitute woman whom Hosea was instructed by God to marry her. After their marriage, she continued to be unfaithful, but Hosea forgave her and continued loving her. It is a powerful example of God's love and mercy towards Israel, not just the person but also the nation and humanity.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM THE BOOK OF HOSEA
The Lord doesn’t just love me, He is in love with me. He loves me so much; he did everything He could to ensure I would be His. Before I knew the Lord as my Savior, I was like the harlot who chose my way, my path, and it led me down a path that was shameful, pitiful, and continued in a whirlwind. My life was a mess before age 21; for the sake of time, let's just say that I understood Gomer more in my younger years. Though I knew what I was doing wasn’t right, it’s what I knew. No one stopped me or tried to stop me. In exchange for my sins, anger, rage, hate, self-harm, and suicide attempts drove me to hospitals and psychiatric wards numerous times. It seemed endless, but I stand here today to testify that God's redemption has set me free from so much that He saved me from eternal death. Through hard times and my stubbornness, I have learned that the Lord was always there with me. He says He never leaves me or forsakes me.
WHAT DOES A HOLY GOD WANT? HE WANTS ALL OF ME, ALL OF YOU, ALL OF US
He Wants Relationship
Child of God, Friend of God, Bride of Christ, Body of Christ
Hosea was the son of a prophet. The Lord speaks to Hosea, The Lord tells Hosea to marry Gomer. The Lord uses Hosea to show his love for Israel. Hosea's relationship with Gomer in the story symbolizes God's relationship with his people. Just as Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea, the people of Israel were unfaithful to God, turning away from him and worshiping false gods. But just as Hosea continued to love and care for Gomer, despite her unfaithfulness, God continued to love and care for his people, despite their unfaithfulness.
We Rejected Him
Cut Him Off, Let Go, Throw Away
The nation rejected God’s ways by serving idols, and religion became a business industry of sex and infidelity with ordinary people, shrine prostitutes, and temple leaders. Some practices were so detestable that the whole city was condemned. It was evident from the time of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Book of Judges when even the Levites had concubines. In the Book of Hosea 11:8, it is noted that Admah and Zeboiim received the same judgment as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord’s anger was withheld from Ephraim and Israel, but He warned them time and time again. We, like sheep, have gone astray.
Revelation 3:15-16 To the Church in Laodicea I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!
He Rebukes Us
Disapproves, Quick Correction, Chastises, Personal, and Private
Deuteronomy 8:5 So know that just as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you.
High Offense, Lecture, Condemn, Official, Group Setting, Legal Issue
Proverbs 1:23 - 25 Listen when I reprimand you; I will give you good advice and share my knowledge. I have been inviting you to come, but you would not listen. You paid no attention to me. You have ignored all my advice and are unwilling to let me correct you.
He Will Release Us
Prodigal Son / Daughter, Feeling of Freedom, Allowed to Escape, Free Will, Liberty with no laws can lead to destruction. Freedom with no boundaries can lead to death.
1 Corinthians 6:12 - All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
We Reaped what we sowed
Unwanted results, Sickness, Disease, Heartache. Sowing into Sin, reaping a harvest of Sin
James 1:13-15 - No one tempted should say, “I am being tempted by God,” for God ⌊cannot be tempted by evil, and he tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his desires. Then desire, after it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is brought to completion, gives birth to death.
We Have to pay Retribution
The perpetrator gets punishment, Violator has to pay as part of the consequences of their actions. Eye for eye, tooth for a tooth.
Exodus 21:22-25 “Suppose two men are fighting and hit a pregnant woman, causing the baby to come out. If there is no further injury, the man who caused the accident must pay money—whatever amount the woman’s husband says, and the court allows. But if there is further injury, the punishment must be life for life, eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.”
He will turn us over to our demise - Rebrobate
Immoral, Insane, Foolish, Wits End, Rotten, Good for Nothing, Debauchary, Selfish pleasures, Corruption, Lascivious
Galatians 5:19-21 - Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
He Reprieves Us
Cancel Punishment, Postpone Sentencing, Pardon for a while, Sparing Life
The president may only grant reprieves for individuals convicted of federal crimes. On the other hand, state governors can issue reprieves for state crimes.
A king can release someone from prison. King Jeconiah was a young king of Judah who reigned for three months and ten days before being exiled and imprisoned. It was as if he were dead as if the prison were his grave. He was arrested, deported, and sent to Babylon to die in prison there. But after thirty-seven years in prison, Jeconiah again was recognized as a king, given a place of honor at the king’s table, and exalted above the other captive kings. The thirty-seven years of humiliation and suffering were forgotten, and a new life began.
A husband can do this for his wife by not allowing her sin to be known. Like when Joseph was betrothed to Mary when he found out she was pregnant. Hosea did this for Gomer by paying for her to spare her life.
Why can Jesus reprieve us? Jesus can reprieve us because He has ALL the authority in Heaven and on Earth as King, High Priest, Lord, Husband, Prophet, Righteous Judge, and Advocate,
He Rehabilitates Us
Allows us to Recover, To ask for help, and Change our environment. Establish good, better habits. Changes our associations. Gets us back to Fellowship. He knows it takes time, and He is patient with us. Go and sin no more. If you were ever in a terrible situation or a destructive lifestyle, you need time to get away to get help. The Lord changes our friends, sometimes He moves us away, and sometimes, he puts others in our life to encourage us when the temptation is strong.
He wants us to Renounce Vows
Resigning from our position of a sinner, Voluntarily giving up temptations, Refusing to recognize allegiance, and alliance to anything associated with actions contrary to God’s commandments. How do you renounce vows for yourself?
“Father, in the Name of Jesus, I renounce the vows I agreed to when I took an ungodly oath. I come out of agreement with any contract or binding document and ask Your forgiveness to make the document null and void in Jesus' Name, Amen!
Can you Renounce for someone else? Yes! It is standing in the gap for someone. Breaking curses on behalf of someone else. How? Like Jesus did, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
He wants to Reinstate Us
To Put Us Back in our Former Position, Condition, and Location, Reinstall as an official to authority. There has to be a built-in trust again. This happens when the person who was at fault shows that they have shown themselves approved to be accountable again.
He will Recompense
We have all sinned, and our wages were death. But thanks be to God, who made amends, compensated for our damages, and paid a high price in exchange for our whole life back to himself. In the case of Hosea, he gave everything he had. Jesus gave His life.
Deuteronomy 21:22 If a man has sinned worthy of death, he is to be put to death and hung on a tree.
He wants to Restore Us
Put Back in place, Fix what is broken, Holy Spirit Overhaul
We are made in the image and likeness of God from the beginning. We must ask ourselves: What part of me doesn’t look like, feel, or act like Jesus? May our prayer be like the psalmist who said, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, Oh Lord, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.
He has given us Restitution
Brought back what was lost, Brought back what was stolen, Brought back what was abused, Brought us back to our rightful owner, our rightful place.
Stitution means to stand. Substitution is to stand in place of someone or something else. The institution is an organization to stand for something like education, family, and religion. Prostitution is an organization that stands for promoting activity. Restitution is to get back in right standing.
He says to us “Return To Me”
Know where you came from. Remember the days when you had it good. Listen to the Voice of the One who loves you. Return to your first love.
Example: our two little dogs ran away and were lost. We called for them, but they didn’t hear us; they went too far away. I grabbed our phones, my husband got in his truck, and I stayed in the neighborhood, walking down the alleys and the front of houses. we talked to the neighbors; we whistled the sound they would remember; what seemed like an eternity did the search and rescue easier when the dogs returned on their own. They looked at us with happy faces even though we weren’t so happy then; we were relieved they were okay and returned home safely. They eventually got the ear and chin scratches from us and their treats again. Still, now we are more cautious about where they may run next. Will they do it again? We hope not, but we do our best to ensure they are safe with us and wouldn’t want to run away.
He has Reconciled us
Resolved conflict, Forgives our sins against him
Psalm 103:2 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
We have to Repent
Sincere Regret, remorse, and Godly Sorrow (kindness, loving kindness) leads us to repentance.
Test: Tell someone you are sorry about something and then laugh.
How did that make the person feel?
How do you think it makes God feel when we don’t truly repent?
He Redeems Us
How To Redeem Yourself After A Mistake - Plead Guilty
Own It. Don't pretend you didn't mess up or try to avoid responsibility for your mistake. …Don't be afraid to ask for help. …Be Proactive. …Implement Measures To Stop The Same Thing from Happening Again. …Get On With Your Job / Life / Family. …Don't Let It Get You Down. Pay the price for your consequences, Make things right as fast as possible.
How To Redeem Someone Else After Their Mistake
Possession of something in Exchange for Payment
Make substitution, bond, until the debt is paid.
What is a Redeemer
a person who brings goodness, honor, etc., to something again
a person who frees another from captivity by payment of ransom
a person who releases another from blame or debt
How Does Hosea Redeem Gomer
He redeems Gomer by repurchasing her from her captors, for 15 Shekels is $4.00, and about 1,350 cups or about 600 lbs of barley equalling $22.00, the Total value for purchasing Gomer. About $26.00. But what did it cost Hosea?
How Does the Lord Redeem Gomer?
Please read: HOSEA 2:14-20
“Therefore, I will now allure her, lead her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. I will give her back her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of Egypt. “On that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’, no longer call me ‘my master. I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked. On that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky, and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in] righteousness and justice, love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.
God is constantly redeeming his people from the bondage of sin. This act of redemption represents God's love and mercy, which is always available to those who turn back to him, no matter their upbringing, what they went through before knowing the Lord, or how far they may have strayed after knowing the Lord. The story of Hosea and Gomer is a powerful reminder of the depth of God's love and the possibility of redemption for all who turn to him in faith. Like Hosea did for Gomer, God cleared a debt. Hosea paid what was required by law to pay for a slave, a woman, a laborer, and a wife, and he paid extra that was due to the debts she incurred while she belonged to others who abused her.
HOW MUCH DID GOMER REALLY COST?
It was only about $26.00. But to a poor prophet, it cost him everything he had. Hosea paid way much more than that, though. Gomer cost Hosea a forever humiliation, children that would be mocked whether they were his or not; she cost the children a potential great heritage because of the generational curse she carried through her family and traditions. She cost Hosea his reputation and his honor to have to go to the temple of idolatry and get her, and as a prophet of God, it could have cost him his sanity knowing that even after he repurchased her, she still wanted to go to the sinful familiar places. But that didn’t keep Hosea from doing what God called him to do. God was with Hosea.
Isaiah 43:1-3 I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, Beloved, you are mine. When you pass through the floods or through the flames, I will save you. You will not be moved, you will not be burned, for I, the Lord God, am with you.
We can stand in Righteousness
Sound mind - When someone can’t decide, they struggle with what may be right. So instead of just making a decision and trusting, they continue to struggle out of fear of being wrong. When presented with a decision, pray and trust the Lord, and make a decision.
2 Timothy 1:7 - For the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but that of Love, Power, and Sound Mind
Our righteousness It doesn’t mean we are not wrong, but we make things right quickly. It doesn’t mean we do everything perfectly, there is a reward when we do things right. David says in 2 Sam. 22:25, “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness”
David understood his deliverance from Saul, Absalom, and other enemies were connected to his obedience to the Lord. Scripture attributes to faithful servants of God who live lives of faith and repentance, seek to obey His law, and are increasing in godliness overall. Not talking about sinless perfection but about the righteousness of people such as Noah and Abraham. This is a practical and proper righteousness because it refers to our practice and obedience. It is the fruit of the Spirit’s work as we rely on His power and keep God’s commandments.
The Lord’s Righteousness
We get this righteousness from Christ Alone. It is through His perfect obedience that was imputed, assigned, given to us, and put on our account when we place our faith in Him. This righteousness makes us positionally righteous, legally righteous in the sight of God, and it does not belong to us but to someone else, Jesus Christ.
He died so that we may live blameless, innocent, and pure.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
He is waiting for our Big Family Reunion
All the Body of Christ, the dead in Christ shall rise, and those that remain will be gathered together.
Bride of Christ, the angels preparing His entrance, the stars, and all the heavenly hosts will praise waiting.
Friend of God - All are invited. We are no longer called slaves; we no longer need to strife; we want to spend time with Him.
Children of God - We are all now God’s people and His Loved Ones.
Example: I had an open vision while I was a church. In the vision, I saw a little boy about three years old. I saw a man sitting in a recliner. It was his father. The little boy wanted to surprise his Daddy. So the little boy came running up to the side of the recliner and got the Father’s attention. The Father looked at his son and said, “Why did you come looking for me here?” The little boy responded, “Because I knew I would find you here.”
Jeremiah 29:13-14 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD. I will be found by you, declares the LORD.
Is your spiritual mindset more like an orphan or an adopted child of the King? ... You are adopted into God's family.The whole reason the universe exists is that God wanted a family. He wanted children. He didn’t need us, but he wanted us so he could show his love.
Ephesians 1:5 “God decided to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure."
Royalty - Inheritance of the Kingdom
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Treasures, Hidden Treasure, Eternity
You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation
Intended to Rule and Reign with Him King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
The inheritance promised that you would never lack in anything.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Hosea highlights that God can restore something pitiful to something extraordinary. The reality is: I am Gomer! We are Gomer! I am Israel, We are Israel. Can we be like Hosea? Can we be like Jesus? We have all gone astray at one point or another, did things our way, following others because “it’s tradition,” or maybe we came from families or places that had darkness and we sinned, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Our sins left us yearning for fulfillment, so we went to empty places and felt even more empty. We abandoned the One who loves us most – God our Creator. God the Father looked upon us, His fallen people, and desired to redeem us, to bring us back to Himself that we may worship Him and want to be with Him. No one is beyond God's redeeming power! He brings beauty from ashes. I know firsthand. I pray each one has a personal encounter and transformation.
The Lord loves to redeem in a real and personal way. Hosea may have been mocked by the men who knew the truth about Gomer, but he walked down the dusty road, he went into the dark places, he went into the secret places to get his wife back. Jesus does the same for us all. He went down the Via Delarosa to Calvary, was beaten and mocked, crucified, and went into the dark place and the secret place to get us back. Jesus paid the price for each of us, His Beloved. Jesus is your Redeemer, your close friend, and your Lord. Even when you turn away, He chases after you. He puts stumbling blocks to keep you from going further into the wilderness. At the end of the Book of Hosea, we can see God’s Eternal plan all along
Let’s read Hosea 21-23
“In that day I will respond,” declares the Lord - “I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one. I will say to those called ‘Not my people, ‘You are my people, and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
and it is noted again in the book of Romans 9:25 when Lo-Ruhamah and Lo-Ammi are remembered with their new name. Ruhamah and Ammi. “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not my loved one I will call ‘My Beloved.’”
Final thoughts, Come to the Lord because want to, not because you have to. Don’t look back to the past of where you grew up or your family heritage, Don’t play the record of condemnation; look forward into the eyes of compassion, into the heart of the one who truly loves you more than you could ever think or imagine.
JOHN 15:13 NO GREATER LOVE HAS ANYONE THAN THIS THAT HE WOULD LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ANOTHER! WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR? WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? JESUS PAID THE HIGH PRICE SO YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO AND YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Let us pray: