In case you missed it, last week I said I wished every Christian knew Galatians 3.2-7. This week I want you to consider a passage from the Old Testament:
16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
21 “And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
23 and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
You really need to read Hosea 1-2 to appreciate what’s happening here. God’s people play the part of a harlot. Having been wed to God, they spurn his love and follow after false deities. Nevertheless, God woos his beloved back into his arms. I can’t help but weep when I contemplate what this says about me:
- One day God will remove all desire contrary to him. I won’t even remember my sin. (v. 16-17)
- Creation will be restored. We won’t fear creation. We’ll live in harmony with it. (v. 18)
- No more war. We’ll finally lie down peacefully, without thought for tomorrow. (v. 18)
- We’ll be satisfied (grain), joyful (wine), and healed (oil). (v. 22)
- We’ll put down roots. We’ll never again feel like we’re being torn from the earth. (v. 23)
When Chelsea and I lost a pregnancy I wept for the day when the oil of God’s healing would pour out. In the past year our church has seen 5 pastors transition to new ministry roles. I can’t tell you how badly I want to put down roots and not have to endure painful changes. In my own discipleship I ache for the day when my distracted and unfocused mind gives way to unending love and meditation on Christ; when I see him face to face and hav no other name but his to sing.
Every Christian should know and meditate on Hosea 2.16-23