Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. – Hosea 2:14
The Old Testament book of Hosea is a beautiful story of the depths of God’s love for His people. The short version is this: Hosea was directed by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Even though Hosea knew beforehand that she would be unfaithful, he won her back with unconditional love.
It was a picture of the nation of Israel, who time and time again prostituted itself in disobedience to God. But each time, God would love her and bring her back into the fold. But more importantly to us today, it’s a picture of each of us. We run from God. We sell ourselves for the pleasures of the flesh. We prostitute ourselves spiritually. Yet God still loves us and takes us back each and every time. It’s amazing, but it’s true . . . God is a God of second chances.
The above passage in Hosea refers to leading her into the desert to speak tenderly to her there. That verse spoke volumes to me. When I have an experience that leads me into the desert, it’s a feeling of desolation and desertion. I start to believe that Jesus isn’t there, that He just left the building. But the reality of it is that God put me there at that exact place and time so I can hear from Him. Sometimes God wants us all to Himself, with no distractions, so He can talk to us . . . speak tenderly to us.
In order to listen to someone speaking tenderly to you, you have to be quiet . . . you have to be still. If it takes leading you to the desert, God will do that. And when He does, listen!
– Steve Arterburn
Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth. – Psalm 46:10