The Wayward Me

The Wayward Me

Preacher Huijun - 29 May 2022

Weekend Devotion: The Wayward Me

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Unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness is a heavy word. It is violation of trust and causes hurts, insecurities and damaged relationships. It comes with a whole package of bad news. Yet, being unfaithful is not something new to us. Why not, when we are sinners, right? Everyday, we are faced with the possibilities and the actual act of unfaithfulness toward God. The temptations of this world can be very seductive. Substitutes of God come to us in a plethora of forms these days. It can be in a person, in a status, in an environment, in a social media platform, in a trend. We are right in a high risk zone for spiritual unfaithfulness. The way we prefer to use our time, efforts and resources, when we really grind down to our intentions, we will realise we are already in the midst of it. But sometimes, God creates these scenarios and environment in our lives, these situations of many temptations, to help us realise we are ultimately still at the mercy of these worldly influences and face up to our sinful dispositions. If not for the constant and persistent love of God, to strike a chord in us, and pursue us over and over again.
Today, we will be looking into the account of Gomer, someone in the book of Hosea that is parallel to our lives in many ways. 

Gomer was a lady with a reputation for being promiscuous at the time she met Hosea, a prophet of Israel. She had all the red flags for someone you should avoid getting married with. But Hosea married Gomer as God has spoken to him, probably to Gomer’s surprise. And Hosea loved Gomer wholeheartedly, regardless of her past. You would think she might change her ways, appreciating this unconditional love and acceptance of her husband. Yet, she continued on into adultery with other men and even had kids that was not Hosea’s. However, Hosea still took the children in as his own and cared for them. But Gomer continued on to be enslaved in prostitution and Hosea had to redeem her freedom. How do you think Gomer would feel during this whole process? How did she finally respond to Hosea’s relentless heart for her? Now this latter part, it is not told but it leads us to a hopeful silence. How did she respond to Hosea’s love? We would hope she has finally been transformed by this love and they build a life together, past and shame aside. But, does this sound familiar to us? Not the act but the dynamics between these 2 characters.
Hosea and Gomer’s relationship here is actually parallel to God’s relationship with the fallen Israel. Now, Hosea is one of God’s prophets who served Israel during a time of moral and spiritual decline. The people of Israel had sinned against God, they were ignorant of God and had no desire to please Him. Their unfaithfulness toward God was at its peak as they mixed worshipping God with worshipping the idol, Baal, and compromising for power, committing a spiritual adultery to the Lord. Yet, the Lord said to Hosea in Hosea 3: 1, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
Now, this story also overlaps to our relationship with God. The unfaithfulness or recurring sins in our lives that draw us away from God and God’s persistent and sacrificial love for us. Now, brothers and sisters, the closest we can come to feeling how Gomer would feel is in those times where we have made decisions or acted on ways that were unfaithful to God, yet He still continue to lavish His grace and love for us. It could be those times where we chose to skip our prayers but give time to other modes of leisure, the moment we compromise our faith values to gain approval from people, or “worship” other things more than placing our concerns on God. Gomer’s chapter here is actually a watered down version of our own story. We are often swayed and wayward in our faithfulness to God. But just like Gomer, it does not end there for us. We are sinners who carry many of our weaknesses and burdens, yet we are also offered an overwhelming grace. A grace that we should not take for granted as we hear this message today. 

So firstly, let us examine ourselves. Do we love the Lord wholeheartedly or are there other loves that are taking up His rightful place in our lives? We must know that we might find some joy and satisfaction when we go wayward with what we think is good for us, but when we continue to do what we desire in full awareness of knowing it is going off track in faith, our hearts will be hardened to sin and it leads to a broken relationship with God. So let us not let prosperity dilute our love for God or let worldly success blind our true need for His love. 

Next, divert your affection to the right object of affection— God. Take a good, hard look into what God is doing in your life. Just as Hosea went after his wife to bring her back time and again, the Lord pursues us with His love each day, despite our distracted nature. Even as we are struggling with so many things that draw us from a God-centered life, or we have so many other commitments that seem more important to us now, how has God been encouraging, restoring or sustaining you through? Sometimes we take for granted because we do not see the magnitude of sacrifice and persistent love that God has for us in our day to day. So take a good look at God’s working hands on you and have newfound affections for His faithfulness in even the little things. 

Finally, let our realisation of our spiritual unfaithfulness lead us to daily repentance. As said in the last verse of Hosea 14:9, “Who is wise? Let them realise these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right, the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” There are two ways that we can err in spiritual unfaithfulness. We can err by forgetting His love and pursuit for our wavering hearts. Or we can also err by forgetting His wrath against our persistent sins, thinking God will accept us no matter how we act and letting loose. Forgiveness is the keyword here. When God forgives us, He still judges our sin but show mercy to the sinner. So let us not only ride on the fact that God is loving and faithful, but that we should let it drive us into a humbling reality of how our hearts and minds can easily collapse like a house of cards. Therefore, we do not just know and go, but we learn and relearn again how to lead a renewed life in Christ, knowing His faithfulness is the one that truly carries us through.

Brothers and sisters, we all have the nature to go wayward from God, but through Hosea and Gomer’s story, let us reaffirm our relationship with God, through His relentless faithfulness and hope on us. Let that turn us into thanksgiving and a life that pursues this spiritual loyalty to Him. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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