The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.
– Hosea 11:2
“Such is the grasping tendency of the human heart, that it must have a something to lay hold of—and which, if wrested away without the substitution of another something in its place, would leave a void and a vacancy as painful to the mind, as hunger is to the natural system…. The heart must have something to cling to…”
– Thomas Chalmers
We are a worshiping people. It’s in our spiritual DNA. Our hearts were made to hold to something, and we hold on with all our might. Thing is, we tend to worship the wrong thing. We worship dream homes and paychecks, pinterest boards and people. We worship what we lack and what we want, and sometimes we even worship ourselves. We want so desperately to be whole and happy and loved, but instead we’re a discontent, idol-making mess.
If you feel like a mess today, the book of Hosea is for you.
If you long to love Jesus more, but there are idols towering over your head and heart, the book of Hosea is for you.
If you’ve ever run from the Lord—or if you’re running now—and you wonder if He’s walked away, the book of Hosea is for you.
(It’s for me, too.)
The book of Hosea is not about Hosea, it is about God’s relentless pursuit of an undeserving people. It’s about Him and us, Sisters.
This is not a comfortable book. (In fact, we want to care for your hearts by telling you in advance that you’ll encounter some tough imagery in Hosea. The biblical language, while inspired, handles some pretty unsettling topics, particularly for people who have experienced them. We want to gently caution you that chapters 2 and 13 may be difficult to read.) Our desire to care well for your hearts is why we are reading this book together, and it is also why we want to be up front in telling you it may be difficult.
But, oh friends, how He loves us! And oh, how evident this love is in the book of Hosea!
Hosea calls us to repentance. It encounters us at that important crossroads where we can choose to face our sin or ignore it. We can choose to acknowledge the shame we’re carrying like a heavy pack on our weary backs, or we can keep walking and pretend it’s not there. This is what the book of Hosea does for me—it causes me to say things out loud to the Lord that I don’t want to say, and then forces me to stand and listen as He patiently and earnestly says back to me, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Thomas Chalmers says that our “misplaced affections need to be replaced by the far greater power of the affection of the Gospel.” We cannot simply talk ourselves out of worshiping the wrong thing—and, boy, have we tried! Our wrong affections must be ousted by “the expulsive power of a new affection.”
This is our prayer as we explore the book of Hosea together as a community—that we would see anew the beauty of Jesus, uncover and repent of the sin that binds us, and be captured once again by His relentless and perfect love.
We can’t wait to explore this book with you. See you here tomorrow!