Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Silly Games

Hosea held the infant with one strong arm close to his chest.  With gentle strokes he caressed the newborns forehead and sang a soft Hebrew blessing.  The child slumbered peacefully.  Now and then she inhaled a deep baby breathe of contentment.  Hosea’s heart secretly elated in each one.  Gomer was also slumbering in another room of the house; all of her energies completely expended in twelve hours of labor and birth.  Hosea starred hopefully at his new daughter.  Her features were not yet defined for she bore a wrinkled resemblance to all Jewish infants on the day of their birth.  Hosea would not know for at least a year whether this child was actually from his body as well…  
When Hosea took Gomer to be his wife, he knew exactly what she was.  Gomer made an active living through prostitution.  Gomer’s father had died when she was only nine.  Local Jewish government’s had been long corrupted by various styles of baal worship and endless superstitions.  The Hebrew God, patient and merciful, stirred various Jewish men and women with prophetic inclinations to, you might say, gently tap Israel on the shoulder.  Yahweh continued to try and remind the Jewish leadership of their responsibilities to one another according to the Mosiac Law that had been instituted between God and man.  Yahweh was very long suffering.
 In the mean time, however, as God was tugging at Israel’s heart, individuals, such as Gomer, suffered.  Gomer’s mother had sold herself and all eight of her children, including the young Gomer, into slavery.  They could not pay their debts and laws to protect widows were not justly carried out.  Gomer’s heart and mind were captivated by a slave’s perspective of the revolving world from a keenly impressionable age.  At fourteen, Gomer was allured by the financial offers of men who took an interest in her overnight company.  At seventeen, she bought herself out of forced slavery and entered into a full occupation of voluntary slavery… .but, of course, she did not see it as such.  By nineteen, her reputation had become fastened in society and could not be unstained.  In spite of this, Gomer enjoyed the daily comforts and extravagances that prostitution afforded her and this softened the blow of lacking true friendship.
When Hosea politely interrupted Gomer’s life, she swooned and pranced about him assuming the same opportunities that she arranged with other male inquirers.  But Hosea had arrived with hands full of romance.  She eyed is suspisciously.. .even playfully.   What on earth to do with this?  
Hosea cried.  Hosea cried often for several months while trying to gracefully woo Gomer.  The plan was never to purchase her like a common commodity but to marry her!  And he was now twenty-one.  Well past the average marrying age for a Jewish man.  He desired marriage but with honesty and sincerity and none of these silly games. Like any man, he held on to the normal inclinations for a mate equal to his heart and stature.  
At twenty-one Hosea had not yet married because God had showed up like a poet in his life and begun to pluck his heart with a longing for Israel to be like a Lover again.  Hosea hurt for Yahweh’s loneliness of affections.  The small nation measured its equality and stature against other nations that were more prosperous in power and wealth than they.    Being connected with the God who created nations was no longer enough.  They longed for greater comforts and extravagances and they played the alluring silly games… .silly and destructive games.  They took greater pleasure in being an influence and status symbol among those faithless nations than identification with a faithful, patient and humble God.  A God not building His ego through imperialism or satisfying whims through manipulation.
Creator God had lost His First Love when He lost the heart of Israel.  And Creator God watched lives consumed and carried away in the midst of the offerings to any baal that would aid them in their superficial causes.  Then, God asked Hosea to do something most painful…

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