Thursday, November 26, 2009


"I will heal their waywardness. 
I will love them lavishly."
Hosea 14:4 (MSG)

I just finished a book called Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It's basically a re-telling of the Book of Hosea. The men in my family have asked if it's a love story or can a guy read it. My answer...absolutely, to both questions! Yes, it is a love story.
A story of sacrificial love.
A story of undying love.
A story of redeeming love.
And it's a story to which every woman and man can relate.
In the book of Hosea, God tells the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute. In this book, the man is Michael Hosea and the prostitute goes by the name of Angel. It's set in the gold rush era of California. This man, Michael, loves God, talks with God, walks with God. He obeys God. This woman, by the very nature of what she does, is unclean. She has been used, abused, disparaged, and is considered of very little worth.
Do you know what your worth is?
In the biblical story, Hosea marries the prostitute Gomer,  and brings her into his home, and she bears him children...but she runs back to her old way of life.  He had bought her, paid not only a monetary price for her, but the emotional and social price of uniting himself with a prostitute.
He redeemed her.
But, she continues to return to what is familiar to her. To the only thing she knows how to do. The thing that she perceives to give her some control over her own life. And Hosea continues to pursue her and bring her back to peace and safety and shows her his love over and over and over again.
Jesus came to redeem us. He sacrificed his reputation, His time, His place on Heaven's throne... His life, just to give us a new life.
A better life.
A life we can be proud of.
A clean life.
A free life.
But how many times do we run back to the familiar? To the only thing we think gives us control. And how many times does He woo us back? To return to Him and His safety, His peace, and His love over and over and over again?
Remember, the book Redeeming Love is a re-telling of Hosea. My favorite line in the whole book occurs after Michael has brought Angel back after she has run away. He asks her what it is she wants...what is she looking for? Angel replies back, "Freedom! I just want to be free!" Michael looks at her and says quietly, "You are just don't know it yet."
Jesus gave His all to give us freedom. And He did it long before we were ever born or even knew we needed to be set free. The price has been paid. The redemption is complete. All we have to do is accept it. Rest in it. And we are free.
You are you know that yet?
Redeemer is defined as "one charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs." Jesus did that once and for all. He avenged our wrongs with the ransom payment of His life. He restored our rights as sons and daughters of the Most High God. He gave us back our self-respect; He made us clean.
He set us free
Just like the prostitutes in both stories, all of us have, in one way or another, been used, abused, lost our self-worth, been told we are worthless and unclean. And just as these woman were given second chances and a new life, we also have been given new life. We have been set free, some of us just don't know it yet. No matter the mistakes, no matter the number of times we have returned to our old ways and old thoughts, we are free.
Lay it down.
Walk away from it.
Never to return.
We have a ....Redeemer.

No comments: