The Lover of your soul

Aslab
Aslan

The Lover of your soul

I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

Hosea 11:8-10

 8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go . . .? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.

 9 No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy.

 10 For someday the people will follow me. I, the LORD, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west.

What is an object lesson? Object lessons are employed by teachers to enable learning. Physical objects or visual aids are used as part of instruction. Object lessons are employed to communicate or illustrate abstract ideas, principles, life lessons, or other important concepts.

Object lessons enhance recall of the teaching. Object lessons often are well-known events or individuals or visual 3-D objects that are well known to stimulate interest.

As children of the King, we recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the ultimate Teacher. As the paragon instructor, he repeatedly employed object lessons to communicate. He captured people’s attention with object lessons which helped them to understand and remember. He used parables that referred to common earthly experiences and experiences to communicate spiritual truths.

The Father used Hosea and Gomer’s relationship as an object lesson. Gomer was the unfaithful wife of Hosea the prophet. The story revealed two very important concepts. First was the unfaithfulness of the nation of Israel to the Father. Israel had sinned against Him by following other gods. The second was the total and complete faithfulness and loyalty of the Father to His people even when they are in rebellion and committed adultery with idols.

The Father Himself gave Hosea a seemingly incongruous, bewildering, and seemingly inappropriate command to marry a promiscuous woman who was a prostitute. He was to settle down and have children with her (Hosea 1:2). This marriage would serve as an object lesson to illustrate the adulterous behavior of Israel, the Father’s “wife.” Israel was guilty of gross immorality and unfaithfulness to the Father.

After bearing three children, Gomer took off and left Hosea. She returned to her former lifestyle to live with another man.

The Father then gave Hosea a more incongruous, more bewildering, and counterintuitive command.

Hosea 3:1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.”

Hosea complied and bought his wife back with fifteen shekels of silver and some barley.

Hosea illustrated the Father’s undying loyal love for faithless Israel. His loyal love, undeterred by Gomer’s unfaithfulness, mirrored the Father’s loyal love and devotion to His wayward and idolatrous people.

Israel is the Father’s treasured possession, the apple of his eye, a pearl of great price. He will never give up on them no matter what.

Yet Israel is like an adulterous spouse who rejected the Father and sought her happiness and security elsewhere. How tragic!

The Father has emotions. How do you suppose He felt that all of this? How this must have hurt Him deeply. Can you visualize Him with tears in His eyes, running down His cheeks revealing a broken heart? The Lord Jesus Christ provides some insight.

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.

Love and marital fidelity are a 2-way street. Both parties must be willing.

Malachi 1:2 “I have always loved you,” says the LORD. But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?”

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father treasures all children of the King. He is faithful and will not give up on us.

Father thank You that Your love that never gives up on me. You are loyal, faithful, and devoted no matter what. Help me to love You wholeheartedly.

INSIGHT

Hosea reveals the Father’s longing for uninterrupted intimacy with those He loves. His longing and passionate love are revealed in His anguished, doleful words.

Hosea 11:8-10

 8 “Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go . . .? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.

 9 No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy.

 10 For someday the people will follow me. I, the LORD, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west.

What does that have to do with us, children of the King? Everything!

The Father longs for an intimate relationship with each one of us. He would and did do everything possible to get your love. His great love is displayed in the greatest most magnificent act of love of all time. The Father sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to make such intimacy and fellowship possible. The Father is the passionate and faithful Lover of the soul of each child of the King.

“Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact of our lives” (Stanley).

Hosea’s prophetic mission stands alone among the Old Testament prophets. Hosea not only prophesied the Father’s message, but he also acted it out in his life. His life experiences serve as the ultimate object lesson which mirrored the Father’s unrequited love for Israel. Despite Israel’s unrepentant unfaithfulness, the Father sought reconciliation, restoration, and blessing for His beloved.

All children of the King have the same assurance: His love for us is a love that will never let us go (Romans 8:37-39). When we stray away from the Father, He yearns for our return. He is the lover of our souls and He will not give up on us.

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

“Once God sets His love on us and we accept His love through faith in Jesus, nothing can ever break the bonds of love that He creates: ‘No one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand’ (John 10:29)” (Stanley).

Whom or what do you treasure as the Father treasures you?

Many of you receive a copy of the Reflection in your email.

Often after it is published, I review it one more time and tweak it.

To read the most up-to-date version, please click on the title.

¯\_()_/¯

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