From disowned to being called children of the living God

So Hosea married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.  Hosea 1:3

God told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. So he did.

God instructed them to call their first child Jezreel, named after the place where Jehu broke the power of paganism in the reign of King Ahab (2 Kings 9 and 10). Their second child is a daughter and is to be called ‘Lo-Ruhamah’ which means ‘not loved’. The third child, a boy, is named ‘Lo-Ammi’, which means ‘not my people’. People pick some pretty weird names for their kids, that’s for sure, but these seem downright cruel.

familyThe thing is that Hosea’s whole family is a parallel to God’s relationship with his people Israel. Hosea represents God married to a promiscuous wife Israel. The fruits of that relationship are attempts at a defeat of paganism, followed by God’s love for his people being exhausted and His inability to own them as his people any more.

That’s hard to take, isn’t it? God’s love becoming exhausted…what’s that all about? I thought God’s love was perfect, everlasting, unfailing. And giving up on His people? Didn’t He promise to always be there for them? Doesn’t God always keep His promises? Isn’t it God’s nature to be faithful?

Yet it appears that there is still hope. Embedded in this chapter is the promise that while Israel will be destroyed and scattered, Judah will be saved.

Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.  Hosea 1:7

And at the end of the chapter, there is hope of a brighter future.

Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.

It’s true. However much God despairs of His people and of the way they’ve treated Him, despite all the warnings and consequences they’ve experienced, He cannot give up on them entirely. It is not in His nature.

In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’

What a wonderful promise!

So these children have to carry these terrible names of a reminder to Hosea and the people of the state that the relationship between God and His people has fallen into. A relationship that seems to all intents and purposes as beyond repair. Even God’s love feels like it is becoming depleted by the constant unfaithfulness of His people.

And yet…and yet…God cannot give up. There is a better day to come, a better relationship, a whole relationship. A time when these people whom God felt ready to disown are called ‘children of the living God’.

It’s astonishing! Mind-blowing! Imagine if we were really able to take in what it means to be a child of the living God. Imagine how our lives would be transformed by this knowledge!

As an example, over the last year, I have changed the way I think about myself and that has changed my lifestyle. I have been learning to dance and practising yoga and I guess I am learning to embrace thinking of myself as a dancer/yogi. I’ve seen how the dancers and yogis around me live. They take their bodies seriously. They train their bodies and they care for their bodies. They are disciplined and focused and prepared to make sacrifices. They want to be the best they can be, whatever that looks like for them and wherever it takes them, because they feel they owe it to themselves. Thinking of myself in this way has changed me. I walk differently and hold myself differently. I talk differently. I live differently. It’s been an organic change. It’s come from deep within.

And living as a child of God can change us in a similar way. It’s not an external imposition of a set of rules but an organic change growing up and out from the inside. A change in response to see ourselves differently.

For me, living as a child of God gives me the confidence to know that I am loved and accepted as I am by God, even if others struggle to accept me. What other people think begins to matter less. I’m far more interested in God’s approval than anyone else’s. I keep in mind always that all I have comes from God and it is out of what He has given me that I can give generously to others. Living life to the full is important to me too. Making the most of every day, every opportunity. I’m having to relearn what that means at the moment, because I ran out of energy, but learning this lesson is another opportunity in itself.

And remembering that others are also children of God can be transformational too. If we really remembered that truth each time we interacted with another, our connections with others would be totally transformed.

In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’

Thank you, Father.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *