Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Gomer's God of Compassion!

Gomer's God of Compassion!

-Lester Parkinson
Scripture Setting: "I will win her back once again. I will lead her back into the desert and speak tenderly to her there!" Hosea 2:14

As a child I always had the fear of dying and afterwards facing an angry God whose punishment was the fires of hell. This feeling came especially after committing a mischevious misdemeanor I would often be reminded [by adults] that my Heavenly Father abhors such persistent conduct and I would not only bring down God's wrath but would also elicit His punishment and eventual destruction. This feeling was because of what I felt that was similar punishment inflicted on the errant Israelites after their persistent acts of disobedience. I was even at times fearful that He would suddenly put in His appearance especially upon committing a sinful act after which I would then be doomed to die and be forever lost.

Upon reaching young adulthood my certainty of His compassionate love, mercy and forgiveness came into full consciousness after reading and hearing the true story of Hosea and his wayward wife, Gomer, played out in the long ago in the Old Testament dispensation. It's a tale based on God's unrequited love: Hosea's relentless love for unfaithful Gomer. She turned again and again to other lovers, and her repeated infidelities broke Hosea's heart. But he never stopped loving her.

Gomer descended into a very dark place. I picture her, used up, worn out, disease-ridden, batted and bruised, hair matted and un-combed, laden with sadness with nothing left---except Hosea's love.

The relationship between Hosea and Gomer was a graphic picture of God's relationship with errant Israel. Although Israel had been unfaithful, and she was suffering the consequences, the Lord continued to pursue her and speak tenderly to her. The Lord commanded Hosea in the book which bears his name (v.2:14), "Go again, and woo her afresh."

As Hosea's neighbors watched his seemingly tragic story unfold, I imagine someone querying, "What is this irrational love?" And someone replying, "I see! Hosea loves Gomer and MY God loves ME!"

Today I re-introduce you to the God of Hosea. To embrace His love, and discover that He has never been an angry God and is not a fearsome God anymore. That He is merciful and does not retain His anger forever. To renew your love for God, review God's love for you!

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