Into the wilderness

At the weekend we had Forum SW where Bish went through a series about the love of God and he shared with us this verse:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.”
(Hosea 2:14 ESV)

In an earlier post I wrote about how God is our Husband and here we see how the Lord treats his bride. Now what really struck me was this question:

“When you think about God speaking to you, what does He sound like?”

Often we think when God speaks it would be with harsh words or something very frightening. But when you read this verse in Hosea it says something totally different, the Lord speaks to her tenderly. He speaks with tender comforting words and the amazing thing is that she is in the wilderness when this happens. The Lord allures her out of where she is, which is in prostituting herself to idols and he allures her, bids her with a higher bidding to bring her into a wilderness, he brings her out of slavery and he speaks words of comfort to her.

This is a beautiful example of the Gospel and the heart of our Lord. Here we are, committing adultery with worthless idols and Christ doesn’t speak to us with harsh, wrathful words instead he allures us, he wins and woos us out of the slavery of idols and sin and he brings us into a place where he can speak wonderful words of comfort and tenderness to us.

Don’t we need to hear those words of comfort? Don’t we need to be allured and won away from the snares of broken fountains that never quench our thirst? Jesus says “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden”. Come to Him, gaze on Him, shelter in Him and he will win your heart and speak tenderly to you.

But more than this, doesn’t it change the way we do evangelism? How do we share the Gospel – with harsh words? condemning people’s sin through the law? Or do we show them Christ and let him speak tenderly to them, let him allure them? Do we win people to see the love of Christ?

We all need to hear the tender words of Christ and when we do, may they warm our dead, cold hearts.