It is so wonderful how the word of GOD has the answers to problems that span generations, cultures and contexts. That is why it is the living word. Life is all about relationships. Relationships are essential and important. Man is a being designed for relationships. However, we see in today’s busy world that we do not have time for each other. Worse still we do not have time for GOD who loves to have a relationship with us. Starting off a relationship is easy as it is exciting and something new. But maintaining its value and worth is difficult. Relationships do not grow on their own, they require investment of time, involve sacrifice. In short, it is hard work! But, it is worth it! Just as parents nurture their child with utmost care and concern we need to care for our relationships.
In this article we will see through the example of the Israelites and GOD’s charge against them, some of the bare essentials of our relationship with the LORD. We can also apply the same to our relationships as well.
The book of Hosea tells us a fascinating story of mad lover who is crazy after the love of his life. In spite of facing rejection, unfaithfulness and ignorance he continues to wrestle with anger and love within him. GOD chose the Israelites and made a covenant with Abraham. GOD loved them abundantly. But they disobeyed him. In the book of 2 Kings we see how Israel had defiled themselves by running after pagan idols and practices that were an abomination in the eyes of the LORD. King after king did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD. Morality and Spirituality were at an all-time low. Israel was facing poverty, sieges, threats foreign invasion, excessive labour. Israel had been in such a state for about 80-100 years when Hosea was called to carry the message of the LORD to these people. Hosea describes the priests themselves had gone astray big time (Hosea 3:7-9). They were in a sorry state sinking deep in sin and far far away from the LORD their GOD, their LOVE.
In Hosea 4:1 the LORD says:
“Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites,
because the LORD has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
no acknowledgment of God in the land.
Imagine the LORD GOD almighty bringing a charge or putting a case against Israel. And in this verse he brings out 3 very important aspects of a relationship which were missing in the way Israel was relating to its GOD. Faithfulness, love and acknowledgement are the 3 things that are vital for a relationship and throughout the next few chapters as GOD puts forward his feelings towards the Israelites absence of these are mentioned repeatedly.
Faithfulness, Love and acknowledgment of GOD are essential ingredients in our personal relationship with GOD. We need to make sure that we are careful that these are in place in how we relate to the LORD. Absence of any of these is a problem and hinders us from growing in the LORD. At the same time these are necessary for all our relationships. Be it – between a husband and wife, parent – child, between friends or colleagues or between you and your boss at work. The strength of any of these relationships can be measured on the basis of these three parameters. Let us make an effort to have these 3 entities in all relationships to others and more importantly to out GOD.
To be continued…
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