Hosea 2:23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!'”

“Torn between two lovers” – stinging lyrics from the seventies era, based on the story of Dr. Zhivago. How can anyone profess to hold two lovers with the same regard? Is this selfishness or something deeper?

God created us in His image. He also put within each soul a need for Him, to be loved by Him, and to love Him back. Because He is the author of love, He’s endowed us with the capacity to love others. However, we’ll miss the mark on loving others purely until we grasp God’s love for us. Most of us love selfishly – to get needs met. How beautiful love is when it’s only desire is to impart beauty and edification into another person. The desire to love outside the boundaries of a covenant relationship is idolatry. You may be thinking I meant to say adultery. Yes, it is adultery. And idolatry too. An overriding passion charges ahead in extreme measures to get satisfaction. It exalts pleasure over another person’s well being, even to the point of destroying relationships. At the center of the pleasure is self.

When self needs are all consuming, they become idolatrous.

“Me, myself, and I” gets the top priority of every decision and action. God is absent from consultations for advice. Anyone’s effort to stop the passion and lust is met with arrogance and defiance – a recipe for disaster.
The Book of Hosea parallels the adulterous wife of Hosea the prophet, and the adulterous relationship Israel had with God. Just as Hosea’s wife took other lovers while married, Israel worshipped other gods. She bowed to numerous idols and forsook the God who’d covenanted her as “His people, his children.”

Eventually, God allowed great disaster to result from their idolatry. Neither Hosea nor God threw away the people they had covenanted to love. Hosea bought his bride off a slave block. God did the same for Israel. He wooed her back to Himself.

The same is true today. God paid for our slavery to sin and idolatry with the blood of His Son. He doesn’t take lightly our idolatry or adultery. Yet, He’s still in the business of wooing us back. Forgiveness and restoration are the essence of His being. Like Israel, we are idolaters and adulterers, but He is the Lover who won’t let go.

Torn Love
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