Man has no “Aces”

There is a story in the Old Testament which gives us a glimpse of the amazing role God plays in the process of reconciliation. It is the account of the prophet Hosea.

The Lord said to Hosea, ‘Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry …’ So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to Him, ‘Name him Jezreel’ … then she conceived again … When she had weaned Lo-ruhama (a daughter), she conceived and gave birth to (another) son. And the Lord said, ‘Name him Lo-ammi’ Hosea 1:2–9 (NASB)

Later, in a tragic heartrending conversation with his son Jezreel, Hosea offers his lament:

Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts … For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them but shall not find them … then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. Hosea 2:1–7

Then said the Lord to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods …’ So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then I said to her, ‘You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.’ Hosea 3:1–3 (NASB)

You would think that Gomer the adulteress would seek the favor of the husband she has wounded. Doesn’t it seem right that the guilty party ought to seek the forgiveness of the innocent? Sadly, the Bible again reveals to us the fact that no man is seeking God. No man is initiating a reconciliation with his God.

As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside; together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.’ Romans 3:10–12 (NASB)

We, like the adulteress, have nothing but our shame. We have no “aces up our sleeves” nothing to attract God to us. The Bible clearly reveals that as long as our ultimate intention is bent on the pursuit of selfishness, all our righteousness is as filthy rags. If only there were some virtues, at least a few alluring qualities to make it easier for God to overlook our liabilities, but there are none.

‘She forgot me,’ declares the Lord. ‘Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness, And speak kindly to her.’ Hosea 2:13–14 (NASB)

This is certainly an amazing display of love, of mercy, and of grace! The powerful God of the universe forms the earth, gathers a handful of newly created soil, forms a man and loves him! But the magnificence of the story is that—

The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us … John 1:14 (NASB)

and

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:8

saying

I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. Romans 9:25

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