Names are important
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” – Hosea 6:1
Today our text, in short and simple language, gives us the cure for all the national ailments that assail us as a people. There are hundreds of chat groups offering solutions as to what should and should not be done, but it many cases, nothing is changed because change comes from within and is manifested on the outside. Change is an idea becoming a reality.
The prophet Hosea, is among the minor prophets and was concerned about the people of Israel and their lack of faith in God and practice of idolatry, and likened it to his disastrous marriage to Gomer and her adultery.
Gomer was an attractive young woman and Hosea had heard rumors that she had relationships with many men; but in spite of that, after a short time of meeting her, she became his wife. The marriage went well for several years and to the union were added three children. The first was a son, and God told Hosea to name him Jezreel, for it will not be long before I punish the king of Israel for the murders that his ancestor Jehu committed at Jezreel.
Gomer had a second child, a daughter. God again told Hosea to name her “Lo-Ruhamah” because he would no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them; but would show love to the people of Judah.
Gomer became pregnant again and had another son and this time God told Hosea to name him Lo-Ammi which means “not my people” because the people were not his people and he was not their God.
Names are so important and I go back to my childhood days of reading the story of the cat and the mouse and the can of butter. Three of the cat’s sisters got married and their names were “Top Off” “Half Done” and “All Gone.” Read the story in your imagination!
Though there were difficult times in the marriage when Gomer became dissatisfied and distressed and threatened to move out and leave Hosea, he truly loved and did everything to please her. How relevant is the word of God as daily we displease God, but yet he loves and cares for us.
Gomer was not willing to return Hosea’s love and so she left him and went back to her ways and her lovers, which she gave reasons for. “I will go to my lovers; they give me food and water, wool and linen, olive oil and wine.” Hosea was deeply hurt because of this. He knew that she could not find happiness in moments of sexual thrill and so he continued to love and hope for the better of her return.
Hosea then decided to go and look for Gomer and forgive her and bring her back home. He found her wallowing in the pit of nothingness and misery and brought her back to his heart. There she found that which she could never find among the sins that would lead the soul astray, and never again, she left the love of home for the unhappy dance, glitter and glamor of the world.
How many times, we as mere mortals have wandered far away from the fold of a loving, kind, merciful and forgiving God. To give a number of our sins, would need a calculator, but he is willing based on our confession, to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteous. We were respectful, law abiding and honest. But now, we call them the old days and ways” and scoff at the aged and infirmed.
But our text confirms that not only a new day is here but new ways, for to have a new day and still operate in the old way, is not going to compute.
Thanks be to God that the future is bright for us according to our text – and the people said, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days will he revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
I love the hymn “I am so glad that our Father in heav’n” and pray that you will sing it today: “Though I forget Him and wander away, Still He doth love me whenever I stray; Back to His dear loving arms would I flee, When I remember that Jesus loves me.”
I am so glad that Jesus loves even me.
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