Craziness

Are we really experiencing true love when we in any way have done something to win the affection we enjoy? Check out this crazy story revealing how God's love works.When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. Hosea 1: 2-3In case you missed the craziness of this, let me repeat God’s opening words to Hosea – “GO, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her!” Talk about a strange mission from God! Imagine that conversation. “Hosea!”  “Yes God!” “I’ve got a great mission for you to communicate the extravagance of my love for my people – are you willing?” “Yahweh – I’m your man.” “Great!  I want you to fall in love and marry a woman who you know in advance will take advantage of your trust, will be unfaithful to you in the face of your faithfulness to her, will rip out your heart from the side, stomp on it and then hand it back to you.”And as strange, and as heart wrenching as it seems, Hosea did as Yahweh asked by going out and marrying Gomer.Who was this “promiscuous woman” named Gomer that God asked Hosea to go and marry? Some scholars think she was a temple prostitute for the Baal cults who already had three children from her prostitution. That’s not likely for two reasons. First, the legitimacy of Hosea’s message as a real prophet of Yahweh would have been outright ignored by the people if he had knowingly married a prostitute. Second, the people of Israel would have better understood, sympathized, and listened to the story of a husband whose wife had proved scandalously unfaithful to him - the very thing Israel was doing to Yahweh. Probably the best explanation is that Gomer was chaste when she and Hosea first married, but she became adulterous later. My hunch (piecing together the surrounding facts) is that Gomer came from one of the many families of Israel who had invested themselves in the Baal cult practices though she was not yet a prostitute. So Hosea sought her out, and fell in love with her while possessing a pretty good knowledge of where her heart would inevitably go.God asked Hosea to do this in order to reveal to His people what His definition of love looked like. Just like Hosea, God had chosen to love a people who He knew in advance would be devastatingly disloyal. Yet God, like Hosea, chose to fall madly in love anyway. You see through Hosea's story God reveals that He chooses to fall in love with people He knows it would be much smarter to avoid.There is a great line in the movie “That Thing you Do” when actress Liv Tyler, who upon discovering the boy she'd fallen in love with had been cheating on her she says to him, “I should have kissed you with my eyes open.” In other words, “If I had known who you really were and how you would end up treating me, I would never have allowed my heart to fall for you.” She’s presenting the human version of love that says, “I am only going to let myself love people who won’t hurt me!” It’s the kind of love we’re used to giving and receiving. But God’s love is a relentless love. He let’s His heart go in pursuit of us, not because we human beings have won His heart or somehow earned His trust. He let’s Himself fall in love, simply because He has graciously chosen to love us. Eve though He knows we will prove unfaithful and disloyal to Him, He pursues us anyway. Even though He knows it would be much smarter to avoid all the trouble we will bring Him, He pursues us anyway. God's love is crazy, but it's awesome.