Sunday 17 Dec 2017
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John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Restored into favor

 “ ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord, ‘you will call me “my husband”;  you will no longer call me “my master”.” - Hosea 2:16

That we have a relationship with God is not in doubt, the simple truth is that when we come to God through Christ and accept him into our lives and situations, we are actually entering into a relationship with him. There are different kinds of relationships and each of them is guided by the principles and protocols which underlines them. The principles that defines a father-son , relationship is different from  that which defines a master-slave relationship, while the one that underlines the husband –wife relationship in the union of marriage is different to that of brother -sister. These principles do not only define how these relationships should be consummated, they also underline the benefits and the rewards on offer when the relationship is properly managed.

As God's people it is not unusual to struggle while trying to understand the principles that guide our relationship with him, as a result many do struggle to even accept that it is possible to have a personal relationship with him, something which we have in Christ Jesus. Therefore, as part of his revelation of himself to his people, God would depending on the situation use the illustration or the image of the relationships that we are familiar with, to convey to us, the manner  of union he has called us into, while also using it to highlight the response he anticipated from us as a result. In this case, Israel had gone into spiritual adultery by giving herself over to idolatry, she had gone astray and her heart lured away from God into detestable practices of her pagan neighbors. As a result, she had become unfaithful to God and the covenant he called them into. 

Speaking through the Prophet Hosea, the one whom God instructed to use his marriage to an unfaithful wife as a project to give him the first hand experience of the hurt and disappointment resulting from an unfaithful wife. From this experience, he was to convey to Israel how they had broken faith with the relationship which He had called then into, one that is sealed with a covenant. We see God here use the image of sanctity of marriage, between a loving husband and his unfaithful wife to press home on Israel her unfaithfulness.

By doing this, God pointed to all what ought to be and how the union ought to have been preserved, he mentioned how he had loved and provided for Israel doing so in order to beautify her for himself, something which Israel did not acknowledged as shown by her unfaithfulness. As a result of her unfaithfulness she was punished, she was made to face the consequences of her actions. But God in his faithfulness also spoke about reconciliation and restoration whenever Israel turns away from her unfaithfulness. Now while Israel might be the central figure in the passage, the truth is God was indeed talking to all mankind who are caught in the same situation of the adulterous Israel, doing so by pointing us to the reconciliation that waits through the ministry of the Messiah.

Through the Messiah, God is once again gathering from every nation, race and tribe, men and women, all those that are turning away from their sins by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior, God is making them the bride of the Messiah whom he calls the Son. Israel was the Old Testament Church, bound to God through the old covenant. The Church of Christ is the New Testament bride and her husband is Jesus Christ. Therefore, as part of the Church, we need to allow the image of marriage guide us in our relationship with God, he demands faithfulness from us he demands our total commitment to him and to him alone. And as he holds out the offer of reconciliation to us all, let us all turn our hearts back to him again, especially where our hearts have drifted away from his love.

                                           

Matthew 1:20-21
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ?Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.?”

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