Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
To be honest, I was a little reluctant to own that verse because of the context (I mean really Lord, I know I’ve had my troubles, but I wasn’t that far gone!), but then I felt Him prompting me to look a little deeper.
The romance between God’s prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer is not just an incredible love story and true romance, it is a beautiful metaphor of God’s love for Israel, and by extension, for the world that He created and came to save.
Despite having a husband who adored her, Gomer gave into the pull of her human desires and followed the trail of gifts, jewels, and food that were given to her by the many men – other than her husband – who came calling for an opportunity with her. She listened to their smooth whispers and easy lies and allowed herself to move from cherished wife, to unfaithful whore, and ultimately to slave who no one wanted.
At the lowest point in her life when she had lost everything, when her very dignity was stripped from her, Hosea, her faithful husband returned and redeemed her from slavery. He took her home, continued to love her and cherish her (as he always and faithfully had), and kept her close to his heart.
In looking deeper at their relationship and how it illustrates God’s faithful and continuing love for us, calling us and looking for ways to draw us back, I had to ask myself the hard question: so maybe I wasn’t a prostitute, but surely there were things in my life that were drawing me away from God as surely as Gomer’s sins pulled her away from her husband.
There’s nothing like a long space of empty silence to allow you to contemplate the things you’ve been carrying, and during the course of my desert journey, I realized that there were things that needed to go.
If you walk in the desert for too long without food or water, you will surely die. And in those quiet times over the years that were the desert for me, I realized that there were things in my life that I had been carrying for too long; things that kept me from being the woman that God had designed me to be; things that needed to die.
All of a sudden, I began to see those verses in a different light.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
|photo by Greg Shields via Unsplash|
Consider what things you’re carrying that you might need to let go, as we walk through this week of things that God helped me let go of – things that God allowed to die within me during the desert, so other, better things could be reborn in their place.
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtags #desertjourney and #inspirationalandfaith80 if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!