God’s Promise to Revive Those Who Turn to Him
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Devotional for Day 7
God’s love towards us is intense and illogical. The demonstration of God ‘SO’ loving His world was on full display when Jesus, the sinless son of God, paid the ultimate penalty of sin on behalf of a willfully disobedient humanity condemned to death. The life-giving blood of Jesus is offered freely to anyone who wants to be saved and restored to an intimate relationship with God.
Around 750 years before Jesus, a young prophet named Hosea was called to enact God’s unrequited love for the nation of Israel. Hosea’s humiliating assignment was to live out in real life the role of a jilted lover. God’s outrageous command to this righteous prophet was to wed Gomer, a common prostitute. The marriage was filled with pain. Hosea had to love his wife through her wanton adulterous living. God is portrayed through Hosea as a faithful husband who is deeply wounded and betrayed but remains committed to Gomer despite her cheating. Gomer represents the nation of Israel.
Gomer could be you and me. Israel traded their blessing to serve worthless idols, forgetting God, their true lover, provider and deliverer. As they partied hard and played the harlot, they stood at the very edge of a ruthless judgment. A cruel Assyrian army was coming to take them captive. The time had come to reap the wrath of God. But at the verge of impending doom, there comes a call to repentance. In the midst of overwhelming charges rings a compassionate plea:
“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
— Hosea 6:1-3 (ESV)
Grace and mercy are offered in the midst of apostasy and wickedness.
Hosea’s message is eerily relevant to us today. We have sold ourselves to the idols of autonomy, self- indulgence and sensuous living. We have played the harlot. We have forgotten the Lord our faithful husband. The urgent plea is to return to Him.
When anything or anyone assumes the rightful place of the Lord in the heart, idolatry is committed. Idolatry is nothing short of spiritual unfaithfulness to the Lord. It is spiritual adultery.
What adultery do you and I need to repent of? How is God calling us to put away idols that demand our affections?
Come let us return, let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His promise is to heal, bind, revive and raise us up, to live in a faithful covenantal relationship with Him.
He will come to us as we return to Him. Let’s use the confession of King David after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba to repent of our own unfaithfulness to the Lord.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
— (Excerpts from Psalm 51:2–12, ESV)
Chitra Lydia Kovoor
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union at Yale