To read the story of Israel is to read a story of provision and rejection, of God’s call on a people, and their refusal to follow, turning instead to worthless idols. The book of Hosea provides us with a mini version of the same tale.
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. I led them with human cords, with ropes of love. To them I was like one who eases the yoke from their jaws; I bent down to give them food.Hosea 11:1, 4 CSB
To get a message across to his people, God tells the prophet to marry a prostitute. He loves her despite her sin, but she rejects the one who could remove her shame through an honorable relationship and prefers to throw herself on others. If there was ever a story of one who forgot her name was Beloved, it’s the story of Gomer.
Just as Israel and Judah suffered for their sin, so do we, when we choose to live for ourselves and reject the grace God offers in Christ. There is no other religion, no other philosophy or cause, which calls us Beloved. God alone, Father over all, poured out himself to make us his own.
Ann Voskamp writes:
If you have seen the face of a person stricken with Alzheimer’s, you know the picture this quote by Ann Voskamp brings to mind. No longer vibrant or engaging, they lose their memory, personality, and seemingly their spirit. They become a perfect illustration of one who has forgotten the blessing in being called Beloved by God.
When a person knows they are loved, they thrive, smile, and engage with others without fear or worry. Being loved brings confidence and peace, enabling them to love others.
Look in the mirror today and ask yourself if your face reflects the face of your Heavenly Father. If you fear it does not, one thing remains to be done—remember and return to the one who calls you by name.
Grace and Peace