Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freely Loved

Hosea is written to a people who have wandered far from the love of God. This adulterous nation has turned their back completely on God. They are worshiping idols and committing all kinds of ugly acts. Still, he woos them back to himself. Yes, he demands justice, but he loves them just the same. While most of the book of Hosea speaks of God’s judgment of the Israelite nation, the last chapter of the book gives an ultimate promise of restoration: “I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him” says the Lord (Hosea 14:4).

I love the phrase “freely love.” God loves his people voluntarily. He loves them because He chooses to, not because He has to. They have done little to deserve His love. In fact, they've done everything they can to deny Him, but He loves and blesses them just the same.

Everything good in their lives comes from God above: “It is I who answer and watch over him. I am like a flourishing pine tree; your fruit comes from Me” (Hosea 14: 8b, HCSB ).

And so it is with us.

As I look around me, I’m amazed at what God has done. He has given me so many things I don’t deserve, a house, a family, gifts, talents, passions. All of the things I enjoy and hold dear come from Him.

Sometimes it’s nice to look around and simply be thankful. Thankful that He’s a righteous God who demands justice, but thankful that He’s loving as well.

It’s nice to be freely loved.

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