Pursued written by Jud Wilhite
Day 2: Beyond Valentines Day (the challenge)For plenty of people, Valentine’s Day can feel more like Frustration Day.Either you’re lamenting the lack of romance in your current relationship, or you’re frustrated that you haven’t met the right person. And Hollywood continues to set unrealistic expectations.Maybe part of the problem is we’re looking to the wrong relationships to fill the deepest needs of our lives to be pursued and loved.When God wanted to illustrate the passionate intensity of His relationship with us, he chose marriage as the metaphor. Marriage pictures the special relationship God wants with us.Yet the first time the Bible really explains the marriage metaphor, it’s not a fairy-tale story of a princess and her Prince Charming. It’s not Cinderella. Instead, God chose a relationship that’s completely fractured—the marriage of the prophet Hosea and the prostitute Gomer.Check it out: “When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, ‘Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the LORD and worshiping other gods’” (Hosea 1:2).Yep, you read that right. Not a former prostitute, but a full-fledged, card-carrying, active prostitute. It sounds insane. Ludicrous. It is. And that’s the point—we are compelled to notice God’s divine obsession with His children.God uses their marriage to illustrate his passionate love and care for his people, who have acted like a prostitute in turning from Him. Throughout the first three chapters of Hosea, their literal marriage illustrates God’s relationship with us.All this sounds crazy. And God is trying to shake us out of our indifference and show us something even crazier—His radical love and grace. He will continue to take his people back even when they betray Him, just as He will ask Hosea to take Gomer back again and again.God will continue to pursue.If the cross of Jesus Christ is the ultimate picture of God’s love in the Bible, then I’m convinced the second most powerful picture is found in Hosea.No matter what we do, no matter how sinful we are, God pursues us, romances us, stalks us, and stakes us out in a radical grace based in Himself. When we run away from Him, God still pursues us. He comes after us. He calls us. And in His grace, even when we are full of pain and hurt, He can still find and heal us.Do you need to live in that reality today? He isn’t simply tolerating you; He’s pursuing you in love, like a faithful husband who pursues a wife he adores.This is way beyond a Valentine’s card—and it is the only love that can ultimately meet our needs.
Big Idea:We’re often looking to the wrong relationships to fill the deepest needs of our lives to be pursued and loved.