“I will destroy her vines and fig trees, of which she said, ‘these are my wages which my lovers have given me.’ And I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field will devour them.” (2:12)
Remember the true source of good things! Idolatry is always a devotion linked to hopes of receiving services. A sacrifice to one god supposedly makes your crops grow. A sacrifice to another might make you fertile? These are shams! No good gift ever comes from someone besides the LORD! Sacrificing in hopes of wealth and family instead of looking to the LORD is futile. He’s about to prove it to Israel by taking the resources believed to be from these other gods.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her” (2:14)
There’s a beautiful mixture of tough and romantic love in these chapters. The LORD tough-loves me, sometimes, by knocking the stupid thing out of my hand to which I’ve become overly attached. He romantic-loves me when He can get me alone, undivided attention, and remind me of a few things:
- His track record of faithfulness (2:15)
- His deep and complete knowledge of every part of me (2:16)
- His grace and kindness which depends on His character and not my own (2:17)
- His power over all creation (2:18)
- His promise of pursuit (2:19)
- His hopes for my future (2:20)
- His hopes for the world (2:21)
- His assurance in Himself to complete everything He’s promised (2:22-23)
He is awe-inspiring. His love is unmatched in this universe. His kindness is the purest form of beauty.
Do you experience both? Which are you most familiar with? Our perspectives are limited. God’s Love and pursuit of you is real, no matter how distant, punished or neglected you feel. Consider, with me, where do we position our sacrifices. Where are we putting our faith? What are we holding onto, hoping He won’t notice and tough-love us about?
Take time alone, with the LORD, and go through these reminders. He will amaze you.