God’s Broken Heart – Part 2
“‘I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst.’” (Hosea 2:3 NIV)
The book of Hosea is complex, because there are two stories happening at once. There’s the story of the prophet Hosea and the heartache he feels when his wife is unfaithful to him; and there’s the story of how God’s heart is broken when his own people commit spiritual adultery by worshiping other gods.
Imagine the deep pain that God—who is love—feels when his love is rejected. It’s heartbreaking to God because of the love he has for his people. In the book of Hosea, God is in the position of a jilted husband! And as the prophet lives through that pain and those tears with his own adulterous wife, he is able to faithfully represent exactly what God is going through.
So now, what does God do? You would think that he’d say, “Hey, I’m God! If you don’t love me, it’s your loss. I don’t need you, and I don’t need this heartache; I’ll just find somebody else!” But this is the mysterious thing about God’s heart: once he makes us his people, the relationship is not so easily cut asunder. So now God is going after the people that have rejected him! They don’t want him, but he wants them; just as Hosea wants his wife and goes after her even after she’s been unfaithful. This is going to explain a lot of things that happen in our own lives when our hearts begin to wander from the Lord.
So God says of his people, “I’m going to make them thirst by making them like a desert…” And that’s what he does when he sees us drifting away today as well. He turns us into a parched land, and everything becomes dry and arid so that no matter what we’re doing or who is laughing around us, there’s dryness in our soul. We’re thirsty for something, but we don’t even know what will quench our thirst. And it’s all God trying to get us to ask ourselves, “What am I doing? Why don’t I go back to the one who really loves me?”
How many of us have experienced that in our lives? Instead of being true in our love for the Lord and keeping him in the center of our lives, we can allow other things to come between us and God; and he sees this happening, and it breaks his heart! But instead of leaving us to ourselves or abandoning us, he says, “No, I’ll make them like a desert, so that they will return to me.”
Are you like a desert inside today? If so, it won’t matter what raise you get on the job or what new clothes you buy for yourself. You’ll still feel the same, because those things won’t satisfy you. Our soul was made for eternity, so nothing temporal can satisfy it. Nothing—no career, no amount of money, no house—nothing can satisfy the longing of our soul, because it was made for God.
To be continued…
Read Hosea 2:1-3.