Alluring His Beloved

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth.”— Hosea 2: 14-15 Hosea the prophet married a prostitute who betrayed him by selling herself back into prostitution, even after bearing him three children. The Lord told Hosea to buy her back, and to love her—and He taught him how, by His own example.

The Lord led His people out into the wilderness—to punish them for their grievous backsliding? To strand them in the desert to die for betraying Him?

No, to “allure” His beloved.

The word “allure” implies a healthy, passionate love. True love is no less ravishing than false infatuation. In fact, it is more so.

The desert, where we are led, and the Valley of Achor, where we too often reside, represent the wilderness of loneliness and affliction, and the valley of deep sorrow. Perhaps it is only in these places that we can hear the tender mercies of God.

Like the children of Israel, like Hosea’s wife, we forget who loves us when we get caught up in the glitter of prosperity and the distractions of the world.

The Lord led His faithless love into the desert, away from everything, where nothing else could distract, to speak tenderly, and to remind her of His love. He allowed her to walk through the valley of sorrow to a place of hope, where He would heal her afflictions and grief.

Is God dealing with you through affliction?

Has He led you to a desert?

Do you feel humbled and stripped of the comfort and blessings you once enjoyed from Him?

He promises to restore the vineyards, meaning the physical blessing. He will give you hope in the midst of sorrow. And He will see you singing again in youthful joy.

God sent Hosea to find his wife and love her back, and that is exactly what He does for us: pursue us, and love us back into His blessings. He doesn’t give up on us!

“Grace is getting another chance even though you haven’t earned it or deserve it. (You may not even want it!)”—Fritz Ridenour