I found myself in the book of Hosea this morning. We know that Hosea was a prophet who was called to illustrate the relationship, or lack of it, between Israel and God at the time. He was to do this through his marriage to an unfaithful wife, Gomer. Each child conceived from this couple represented a pronouncement from the Lord to Israel for their spiritual adultery and attributing their prosperity to idols in the land.
The second child’s name meaning struck home. Her name was Lo-Ruhamah, translated,
I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.
First God caused Gomer to become naked and bare. Then He stripped her of her vineyards, wine and oil because she hadn’t acknowledged Him as the source of her provision and was pursuing other lovers. He walled her in so she couldn’t find her way to her idols.
But then He turns like a dime in anguish and decides to allure her into the desert to speak tenderly to her. There she will get her vineyards back and come back to the true lover of her soul. Then after all she goes through in the desert and as she is forced to quit running, He makes her valley of trouble a door of hope for her future and for others who hear her story. By the end of the story the Lo has been dropped from the name of Ruhamah, which now meant, I will again show love and compassion to this people. Ruhamah was like one who had been pitied, but obtained mercy.
Have you ever been to the place where you thought perhaps God could never show love to you again? Have you been through so much and your circumstances look so bad that people have pitied you? Have you made other “things’ your idols? I was once a Lo-Ruhamah but our God is a merciful God-I only have to remind myself of this story and know I have also obtained mercy, been restored, and reconciled in His faithfulness.
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