About the Golden Series:
GPS is a monthly post will feature a different woman, specifically highlighting their unique fashion choices and written voices. I can't wait to share these amazing, everyday ladies with you! Each of them has an incredible perspective to share, just as each of you do.
About the Author:
Today we are going to hear from the precious Sidney Vinson. She's an incredible equestrian and, more importantly, has as tender a heart as I've ever seen. She has an incredible passion for the nations (she just got back from Uganda!) and is truly in love with all God's people. I can't wait to see her represent Jesus all around the world!
It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, and these past few months I’ve been struck over and over with how faithful our Heavenly Father is.
Let’s dive to where I’ve been dwelling in Hosea:
“When the LORD first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so some of her children will be born to you from other men. This will illustrate the way my people have been untrue to me, openly committing adultery against the LORD by worshiping other gods” (Hosea 3:1).
If you read on, you'll see that Hosea 4 is a hard passage to swallow, as Israel has been unfaithful to God and is facing His wrath.
I’ll admit, I find that I tend to avoid reading scripture describing God’s anger and wrath because don’t like picturing him as judgmental God who is angry with me. I usually want to skip straight to where He says I am forgiven. So as usual, I could feel the lump in my throat rising as my eyes hurriedly skimmed over the part where God disowns the people of Israel, declaring them as not loved and no longer his people, and declaring that he is no longer their God. My eyes were desperately searching for the word “forgiven." But I felt the Spirit urge me to lean back into those verses, so my eyes wandered back over God’s wrath. And then a thought so seemingly simple whispered to me, “It’s not about judgment, it’s about relationship.”
This is how much God desires relationship with us. And the image of God we see in this verse isn’t one of a judge passing sentence, or of a father scolding his children. It’s one of the most intimate relationships: a marriage, knit with intimacy, love, and trust. God is a husband who longs for intimacy and closeness with his people. And like the prostitute in Hosea 3, we are pictured as violating this marriage covenant.
I felt the Lord tenderly showing me what my sinfulness is truly like. Sin is not some violation of some moral standard, but violation of a relationship. God is not the angry judge we so often imagine. The deep hurt of broken trust and overwhelming betrayal that a husband feels when his wife is unfaithful is how God feels when we sin. My unfaithfulness is an act of rebellion against the love of God.
Our God is a God who is deeply in love with us, and wants a relationship. And despite my unfaithfulness, despite my violation of trust, God says, “I’m not done. I’m going to restore you as my people. I’m going to continue my love relationship with you.” It’s not over, because God, the Maker of the heavens and earth, whose hands are the depths of the earth, whose eyes are the oceans, and whose very breath moves the mountains, He simply won’t give up on us. Ever. He craves intimacy and connection with YOU. Despite my unfaithfulness, He is faithful. Always.
Seeing in Hosea the reality and depth of the raw hurt and anger God feels when I betray Him, and knowing that is what I deserve, makes me want to fall down at His feet and cry out, "Thank you, God, for not pouring that wrath out on me! Thank you for choosing to release that anger onto your own son, freeing me from the suffocating grip of shame, guilt, and fear. Instead of your wrath, You showered me in grace and mercy, and call me your beloved bride. I'll holler shouts of joy and praise forevermore, because you are a faithful God. You have pledged yourself to me."
"And yet, how often am I Gomer, the prostitute, who stumbles away from you, thinking I know what’s best for myself, only to find myself facedown in the dirt? And after I’ve rolled in my filth and shame, not even worthy to untie your sandals or wash your feet, you knelt down and washed my whole body clean, unafraid to get my filth on your own hands. You loved me at my darkest. You tenderly smile at me and gently lift me up, covering my shame with your blood and a wedding ring, clothing me in white and rejoicing in your bride. You rejoice that I am found and made new."
He makes the shamed beautiful and the broken whole. He is a God who calls out to us, chasing us down with reckless abandon. He never leaves. He has been and will be with us always. He meets us right where we are. He stands by our side, never wavering. He is a groom who is deeply in love with His bride, who stops at nothing to pursue and love her fiercely and tenderly, whose eyes are oceans deep with forgiveness and grace. When I am unfaithful, He is forever faithful. What kind of love is this?
This, my friends, is the kind of love your Heavenly Father is inviting you into. So take ahold and cling to His promises with confidence and assurance, because our God is forever faithful.
With love XO,