From: Kara Dodds
Do you need rebuke? This is one of the questions Mark asked in concluding Sunday's sermon. Our reading this morning in Hosea brings us to face another text of rebuke. We read the story of Hosea, a faithful husband, and Gomer, a wayward wife. Wayward is putting it kindly. Hosea uses other words to describe his wife's unfaithfulness, and those words aren't nearly as palatable.
Hosea rebukes his wife for going after other lovers. Additionally, he rebukes her for attributing the provision of her everyday needs to them. We're reminded that the story of Gomer's unfaithfulness to Hosea is actually a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness to God who has covenanted with them. Israel went after her lovers (the Baals—gods of weather and productivity) and forgot the Lord. This cycle of forgetting the Lord and seeking to find life apart from him repeatedly plays out in scripture, and continues to play out in the church today. Let's be honest and admit that we, too, have need of rebuke.
In his kindness, the faithful husband hedges up the way of the unfaithful wife to prevent her from continuing to wander down wayward paths. Has the Lord put a barrier in your way to keep you from going down a path of sin? Turn and remember there remains one open path, Jesus, by whom you can draw near to God, and receive mercy and find grace to help in your time of need.
In this season of Lent may we not shy from encountering the loving rebuke of the Lord as he invites us to be renewed in life with Him.
I live in JP with my husband, Chris, and the cutest little redhead toddler around, Barnaby.