By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."Hosea 11:1------This marvelous mystery and prophetic utterance has a calming effect on the spirit.Its context breathes hope into the midst of the most desperate of situations;its context breathes life into the next chapter of redemptive living.Today's word shall offer us a formidable consolation and rejuvenated hope.------Hosea's "calling" is graphically linked to redemption and provides an unusual and exhilarating twist to the mercy and compassion of God.Look closely and see the benevolent mercy and lovingkindness of God:Hosea the prophet married Gomer, the harlot, as directed by God.Gomer's life was composed of "being used."Gomer was familiar with bedroom scenes; sheets balled up on the floor, and the constant company of men.Few people and commentators regard Gomer's personhood ... but I do.I think nobody was more shocked, surprised, or taken back by this marriage arrangement than Gomer herself.-Try to imagine the sense of being "chosen" by a good and godly man when you'd experienced only the lusting and "using side" of man.-Try to consider what it must have felt like to be selected as a bride to a character composed of true character.-Try to imagine what it must have felt like to "make love" for the first time. -Try to imagine the experience of returning to an old familiar lifestyle that you were once ashamed of and returning to it.But then redeemed from it, again (Hosea 3).Hmmm ...These are not just Gomer's pitiable patterns, dear reader,they are "ours."No exceptions.------We all have sin issues and scenarios that are hard, painful, and difficult BUT God chooses to walk into them with deliberate and supernatural intent.Unafraid, unashamed and with full knowledge of our wanderings and wonderings, God ushers His mercy into our sinful lives and reclaims us. Fully aware of the love He's invested, and willing to invest in the safe return of His "Beloved one," He calls us home.Mmmm ...God chose to "love on" Gomer in a very special way, and show her a "different" context for living and loving, just as He does for us.God chose to overrule man's intent with His forward, progressive, saving love, and this is beautiful and empowering for each of us.The very deep and personal love of God translates from Gomer, to Israel, and to you and me. His longings and yearnings for Israel and for us are so sharp, graphic, and impregnated with meaning that He sent a visible Messiah to redeem us and save us.Try to comprehend the love of the Father in formulating an eternal plan to rescue "us" from our sin, idolatry, and adultery ... in order to convey a true meaning of love and life-everlasting to us, dear reader.Try to understand that the Messiah exists for the rescue and redemption of messy, sin-stained souls.------ And so ... "Out of Egypt" God heralds a passage of redemption;out of a land of slavery and bondage, God ordains for us a Savior, and outfits us with provision, protection, and promise:"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon."Hosea 14:4-7The Messiah reclaims and renames us ...for His glory.For mercy in the Merry Christmas,Hallelujah!------STUDY FOR GROWTH:1) Read through the message of Hosea while reading the prophetic fulfillment of today's "Egypt" contained in Matthew 2.Study the cyclic themes of "sin" contained in it and God's merciful dispersements of "grace" to remedy it.2) Reflect on your personal heart and its personal waywardness.What encourages you about the story of Gomer and the story of Jesus?3) Whatever God is calling you to do, don't put it off.The time for healing,and the time for transformation is now.Begin.------
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