Hosea 2:1-13, Ezekiel 21:1-7
I wish I could remember which friend it was. I can’t. But that friend sent me a photocopied chapter from a book that was soon to be released. The pages came with very little commentary other than “dude, read this.” So I did, sitting on a sun-warmed boulder in the middle of a swollen river in Arkansas. And to this day I cannot read these verses from Hosea without thinking of the phrase Brent Curtis used to title those pages – “less-wild lovers.”
That chapter from The Sacred Romance talked of the many “lovers” we chase after in our lives, the addictions we flirt with and often allow to take root in our hearts. These addictions can range from alcohol to bible studies to exercise and everything in between. We’re convinced the promises these lovers make will fill the ache in our bones, and often they do for a season. But only for a season. Then we’re faced with the choice: double up and try harder, or search out for some new same-but-different thrill, or slowly resign ourselves to what Thoreau called the life of quiet desperation.
All the while the wildest of lovers waits. But God’s is not some impotent waiting. It is jealous.
“I will expose her lewdness.”
“I will ruin her vines.”
“I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals.”
Not the kind of let’s-make-sure-everybody-feels-good-because-love-wins spirituality that’s so viral these days, is it? No, not by a long shot. But if we’re going to read Scripture in its fullness, then this is part of the picture of God’s love.
You don’t need a theology degree to understand the force behind these verses. It’s humblingly clear: “she…went after her lovers, but me she forgot” (Hosea 2:13). To chase other lovers is simply to forget God, the God who set aside His glory and wrapped Himself in flesh so that you and I might be called the sons and daughters of God. If you’ve ever loved someone with all you have and then that person left you for greener pastures, so to speak, then you know the feeling of being forgotten. It is the feeling of a broken heart.
While we chase the less-wild lovers, the wildest One waits. But these verses won’t allow us the excuse of “I didn’t know.” We do. Scripture is clear. God’s is not some impotent waiting. He is jealous. Jealous for our full affection.
Written By John Blase