Thursday, October 11, 2012

Justice of the Peace

I've been preparing for this Sunday. God has put the topic of grace on my heart and so I've been reading all different stories of grace. The one that has hit me the most is in the book of Hosea. In the first chapter, God asks Hosea to marry a prostitute. Hosea marries a prostitute named Gomer and after having 3 children together, Gomer continues to run around on him. He's fed up with having a wife who sleeps with other men. God is comparing Hosea and Gomer's relationship to that of his own with Israel. It astounds me, after everything the Lord did for Israel, the ENTIRE book of Exodus. God rescues Israel from slavery, feeds them when they have no source of food in the dessert, and yet Israel runs around on God. Trusting in fake gods. Worshiping and bowing down to idols. So what is God's response? What is Hosea's response? God tells Hosea to take Gomer back, just as God takes Israel back. The book of Hosea concludes with God telling how Israel is "finished with gods that are no-gods. From now on I'm the one who answers and satisfies him. I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in me. If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what's good for you, you'll learn this inside and out. God's paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily; wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling."
But it's not just Gomer and it's not just Israel. It's the entire human race. We have turned our backs on God, we have worshiped so many things other than God. The God who rescued us from the pit. The God who sent his only son to die for us. And yet we run away from him for our own wild living. My astonishment with the Israelites can be turned right back around on myself. May God never give up on me like he never gave up on the Israelites.
Ryan Long's song Justice of the Peace is about a woman cheating on her husband. A metaphor for how we cheat on God.
I got your message on our answering machine
You said you’d be late again but what does that mean
It means I’m lonely after all
So I’ll be waiting here in case you call

I guess our telephone ain’t gonna ring
I found the note he wrote he says he heard you sing
So I guess your out with him but what does marriage mean to you
Do you wear your diamond ring when you lay down

You drop your dress you turn your head
You hold him when I sleep at home alone in our bed

Didn’t sleep last night waiting by the window
But now the morning’s come with a night time glow
You told me where you were I said you lie don’t you even want to try
I’ll take that ring back cause you don’t wanna be my wife

Do you know girl about the justice of the peace
He’s gotta bring one of us to our knees
Now I’ll go down so that you can come back home
Even though I know you’re gonna keep running around

Thank God it doesn't depend on me. Our God will continue to love us, rescue us, and forgive us. Grace.

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