The book of Hosea is all about recognizing the depth and severity of our sin and how much of it God has forgiven us and covered in grace. We studied the metaphor of the harlot in our Proverbs 7 study, but it’s hard for many of us to accept the analogy because, well, no young woman wants to be called a harlot.
“For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water. My wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’ Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them.” -Hosea 1:5-7
I will be the first to admit that like the people of Israel, I’ve tried to find lovers other that Christ. It’s the foods I turn to for comfort when I’m sad or insecure. It’s the social media and media I turn to for entertainment when I’m bored or don’t want to work on my to-do list. It’s the worth and beauty I find in the love of a man. It’s the job I rely on to provide for my wants and needs. It’s all things that I go to in order to define my worth, success, beauty, and my place in the world.
Yet, God should be the only one who fills each of those spaces in my heart and my life. He should be the one who comforts me when I’m sad; the one who fills my schedule and my every thought; the one in whom I find my worth, beauty, and by whom I am unconditionally loved. He is my provider and it is only by His mercy that I have all the blessings that I do.
Maybe that’s why God hedges us in and lines our paths with thorns when we start to wander down the paths towards our other lovers. He puts up obstacles and even hardships and suffering with the sole intention to bring us back to Him. So that no matter how much we seek the pleasures of this world, we won’t find them or be satisfied in them. Because He is the only one for us. Always was and always will be.