Friday, June 10, 2011

Pressing On's Response

Hosea 6:3 (NLT):
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.

As I read this Scripture, I am amazed at the grace and love of our Almighty God. What seemed like merely an encouraging pick-me-up or a new motivational status update to this westernized Christian was truly so much more in the context of the book of Hosea.

Just a little background if you are not familiar: Hosea was a prophet of God to the northern kingdom of Israel before its demise. Early on in Chapter 1, God instructs Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer, and that this would be an illustration of God's relationship with Israel. Defying the customs and proper appearances of the time (not that this situation wouldn't be given a bewildered glance today!), Hosea follows God's instructions and marries Gomer. After having children together, she leaves him and is unfaithful with other men. Just as God pursues Israel after her relationship with other gods, so Hosea goes after Gomer and redeems her back.

This book tunes into the very heart of the Father and the unfathomable depths of His love, despite the unfaithfulness of His chosen people. Of course, let's not just point the finger at Israel though, the Gomer in this story often describes each and every one of us. And yet despite all of our shortcomings and unfaithfulness, He still yearns for the renewal of an intimate relationship with us.

And here in this verse we are exhorted to "press on." The definition of the word press is - to act upon with steadily applied weight or force. Sometimes that is what it feels like in our daily pursuit of God...steady application of force. But look at the result of the pressing - He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn. What a promise! Especially if you look at it in the light of the history of this story. Even from a people this stubborn and hard-hearted, He encourages through His prophet Hosea that they form an attitude of wanting to know Him and press onward, so that He can SURELY (firmly; unerringly; without missing, slipping, etc.) respond.

Let the principles of this story and the revealed heart of the Father sink down deep into your spirit - He didn't choose this story as His analogy by accident!

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