Grace Steps Into Unexpected Places

God is so unexpected.

Today as I read through the Old Testament book of Hosea I came to this beautiful verse:

“Therefore I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness, and speak kindly to her…” Hosea 2:14 (Emphasis mine)

The word “therefore” blows my mind because of what came immediately before this passage: Betrayal, Adultery, idolatry, a long string of “lovers,” a cascade of consequences. Then, suddenly, inexplicably, Grace steps in.

Grace. God’s favor bestowed on sinners who deserve wrath.¹

Man’s sin and God’s grace.

Grace Steps into Unexpected Places

courtesy of Crestock.com

 

What a contrast.

Therefore” I will woo, speak to her heart, bring her out into a free place free from her past entanglements, all in order to draw her to myself, all the way into my bosom, into my heart to betroth her to me forever.²

 

There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of [Trouble] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. (Hosea 2:15 MSG)

You can bet Gomer wasn’t expecting that response. She’d never dare to ask for it.

Yet God woos us despite our tired, sin-worn track record and invites us to become His “betrothed. Click To Tweet

Grace Steps Into Unexpected Places

Courtesy of Crestock.com

Wow.

Our sin vs. God’s grace. There’s just no contest. Love conquers. Grace covers.

God wins.

Love conquers. Grace covers. God wins. Click To Tweet

What an incomprehensible Savior we serve! I love the old song that sings, “What grace, what love that was given by Thee, beyond comprehension it was all done for me!”

But even that doesn’t seem to cover the story of Gomer . . .

Harlot, faithless wife, MIA mom. Someone who laid sin upon sin and worked hard to gain the miserable bonds of the slave block. She was destined for the discard pile.

Like me.

I am more like Gomer than I’d like to admit. Sometimes I too, have forsaken my First Love. I too, have been an MIA mom.

Like Gomer, I don’t deserve God’s grace.

I take God lightly. I run after other “lovers;” my pleasure, “my way,” “my plans.” I pursue what I want to possess.

And it isn’t always God.

Yes, I am like Gomer. Inscribed with His name, hidden in His heart —

— unfaithful to the core.

But God’s response to Gomer’s sin, to my sin, is a love that woos and whispers words that “speak to our heart” for God loves first —

— and condemns last.

Your patience is long, O Lord, Your love incomprehensible. You forgive us so much! You stick with us when our flesh grows thick and our faith wears thin. You never give up on us. You are faithful. Loving. You are patient, kind, and gentle.

You are GRACE

PERSONIFIED

PRACTICED

PROVIDED

You are GOD. And how we love You for it!

Who else would respond to betrayal, to hatred, to cold-hearted disdain with selfless, unflickering love?

Only a Savior, faithful and steady. Ever ready to reconcile and redeem. To betroth the faithless, the discard, the most hopeless case to Himself.

Yes God delivers what we don’t expect. God delivers what we don't expect. Click To TweetGrace instead of judgment. Love instead of hatred. Heaven instead of hell. And He hung on a cross to do it.

 

How has God acted in unexpected ways in your life?

 

 

² I stumbled on this beautiful rendition of Hosea 2:14, but when I went back to cite my source, I couldn’t find it. If anyone locates it, please let me know. Thanks!

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Comments 7

    1. Yes, those pesky track records . . . But with God, every day is a new opportunity to lay some new tracks. 🙂

  1. What a great picture of how God responds to our disobedience with undeserved kindness and love to woo us back to Him. And just when we would be bracing for judgement. Thanks for bringing this home by equating “chasing after other lovers” with “my pleasure, my way, my plans.” Guilty as charged, but praise God for his grace to me and us all!

    1. I, too am so grateful that God is indeed a Savior and the giver of the unexpected gift of grace. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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