Week 34 A Painful Choice

Week 34 A Painful Choice

Today’s Text: Hosea 1-7

Key Text: Hosea 1:1:2

“When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry….”

It may be hard for us to understand – a man who feels led by God to take a wife who will be unfaithful to him – a sort of object lesson to the people about spiritual adultery – and a painful lesson at that, for all concerned.

Still, that is the story which unfolds in the book of Hosea, the first of the Twelve Prophets in the Bible.

This painful choice packed a powerful lesson because, like God, Hosea brings her into his home, and under his care, after her unfaithfulness.

The book records, in unflinching detail, the pain and consequences of betrayal.

It also records, with equal clarity, how God loves us enough to take us back after our own sinful betrayal of him.

We don’t like to talk or think about betraying God that way.

Most of us would prefer to think about how happily faithful we are – how devoted to God – just as God is devoted to us – one big happy family.

That isn’t an accurate picture, though, of our “family life.”

Just as human beings deny their weakness; sinfulness; adultery – so we try to act as if we are or have been more faithful to God than we have been.

That’s when we must swallow our pride, let down on defenses, and come back seeking God’s love and forgiveness.

It’s a painful choice – but it’s what can and will ultimately save us.

Do you need to “come home” to God today?

If so, know this. He loves us – He is waiting – and the door is open.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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