“And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah (“Not pitied”), and I will say to Lo-ammi (Not my people), ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God’.” Hosea 2:23
Hosea is one of my favorite books in the Bible even though the story is a sad one on many accounts.
Hosea, the prophet, is asked by the Lord to marry a prostitute, Gomer. It is a marriage that is supposed to represent the relationship between God, represented by Hosea, and the people of Israel represented by Gomer. The people would prostitute themselves to fake gods instead of God who is their husband.
Throughout Hosea, he is asking Gomer to stay with him and not go out and prostitute herself. He will take care of her and she doesn’t need to turn tricks, but she continually goes out. The Lord tells Hosea to father children with Gomer, three to be exact. The first, Jezreel is tell the house of Jehu that the Lord will “break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
The second and third children represent the relationship of Israel to the Lord: “Not Pitied” and “Not my people” were the other two sons. Imagine the “people of God,” the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being called “Not my people.” It stings just thinking about it.
Yet, the story is about this husband, Hosea, who is constant, loving, beseeching, and good to Gomer. He is how God treats us when we stray from him in the way we center our lives.
I find it hard to center my life on God all the time. I have streaming TV. I have a cell phone that brings the “world” to me 24/7. I have food I like to eat, sports I like to watch and play. I have all kinds of things that I put first. I am Gomer: I entertain all kinds of false gods before I do what I want, which is to love the Lord like a faithful spouse.
It is hard for us when things start up in the fall to remember that our first love and our first commitment is to our faithful spouse Jesus Christ. The wonderful thing is that he will tell us “you are pitied” when we do. He will tell us “you are my people” when we do. We just need to reorient our lives and say, “You are my God.”
Take this time to renew your relationship with Jesus as everything starts up this fall.