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This is Our God

What if you were a pastor, and God told you to go marry a stripper?

That’s what happened to Hosea. He was a prophet, a godly person. A respectable single youth pastor at a large Korean-American SDA Church, maybe in SoCal. He was about to go to Korea to look for his nice samoneem. But for some reason, God tells him to marry a loose woman, a fornicator (Hosea 1:2).

The first Sabbath, she shocks the halmunees with her sheer top, tight miniskirt and red stilettos. They’re an odd couple, her looking Las Vegas and him looking like Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

She gets pregnant. The kid doesn’t really look like Hosea. His son’s name is appropriate: “James Not-my-kid Lee” (Hosea 1:8-9, 2:2). It’s not in the Bible, but can you imagine Hosea’s emotional angst right now? To be married to a flirt, a cheater? It’s one thing if two flirts marry each other and divorce each other. That’s fair enough. But this is totally different. This is a really nice guy. And he’s committed his whole life to a girl that doesn’t really want to be faithful to him.

Could you do that? Could you get cheated on, over and over again, and keep coming back to forgive someone who feels no remorse for what she’s done?

Most psychologists would call that behavior a bit masochistic. Maybe that person has some kind of co-dependency complex. They just need to leave the relationship and find someone who’ll reciprocate their love. Go on, Hosea, file those divorce papers. Even the Mosaic law gives you the right to do that. How many times has that woman cheated on you? How many more times will she break your heart? Why do you let her?

And God says to Hosea: I understand your pain.

And God says to us: This is what you’re doing to me. Not sexually or emotionally. But even deeper than that.

It’s 4am. We just got back from the club. We’ve just cheated on Him again. Our phone’s still got all those other guys’ numbers in it. We’re trying to sneak into the house without waking Him up, but while we’re fumbling for the keys, God’s already turned the porch light on. He opens the door. Then He does something absolutely crazy. He drops to his knees. And pulls out a ring. (Hosea 2:19, 20, 23). He’s proposing. He wants to marry us again.

That’s how badly He wants us. He knows all our dirt, all our baggage, all our problems. And He loves us anyway, just the way we are.  This is our God.

_____________

Pastor Chris Choi is the youth pastor of New York Central Korean SDA Church.


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