A Tale of Holy Love, Unfaithfulness, Justice, Mercy, and Grace
At some point in life, everyone makes a stupid decision or two. Okay, that was sarcasm. Let’s face it, we make a LOT of stupid decisions. But hopefully our moments of stupidity are nowhere near as serious and long lasting as Israel’s.
Throughout this entire study, we’ve learned that Israel had forsaken the LORD and broken her covenant, marriage-like relationship with Him. However, in the first verse of chapter three, God’s humor and irony comes out and He shows Israel just how ridiculous this decision was.
“And the LORD said to me, ‘Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.’”
Forsaking the Lord is bad. But turning away from Him for the love of raisin cakes is idiotic, laughable really. Seriously, raisin cakes? They had to choose between two options: the living God of their fathers who led them out of Egypt and gave them the promise land, or raisin cakes which were worship offerings to the false god Asherah. Between these two options, they chose the raisin cakes.
Here is where I see God’s humor, because this verse could have just ended at “though they turn to other gods.” But that is not where verse one ends! The good Lord chose to include the point that Israel loved cakes of raisins. Why? Well, I believe there are two reasons.
While we might not love cakes of raisins more than the LORD Almighty, there are other, silly things that we choose. Maybe our raisin cakes are success, popularity, money, relationships, education, or a myriad of other things. Nevertheless, the fact remains that we are much like Israel and often choose ridiculous, inconsequential things over God.
So what is the raisin cake that captivates and draws your love away from God? If Hosea 3:1 was about you, what would God say your love was for?
Whatever our raisin cakes are or were, if we bring them before our great and merciful God, asking His forgiveness with genuine repentance, He will forgive. Every time. For even in our waywardness and foolish wonderings, God never gives up on us or changes His infinite love for us.
What an awesome God we serve!
“Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them,
for you are a gracious and merciful God.”