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This Guy, and a Pretty Woman February 1, 2010

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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I read an old story last week about This Guy. He was a preacher, and he married a lady of the evening. He chose names for his three children that were beyond peculiar. If he was a normal guy he would have chosen normal names like Moonunit or Dweezil (thank you, Mr Frank Zappa). But no. Streuung, Parti, and Nonamati would be close approximate modernizations of these names, from various languages (German, French, Italian). The names meant: scattered, abandoned, and not loved. In spite of the weird names, he left a good legacy: he preached that God wants to restore souls (see my earlier entry on Psalm 23).

What happened was, this preacher married this lady who worked in the oldest profession. While they were together, they had these three kids, but he wasn’t sure he was the father, and he picked those names specifically for their meanings. Then she left him-the story doesn’t say why, but I’d speculate she ran back to what she had gotten used to before meeting This Guy. She ran off with one of her old “boyfriends,” and she ended up in some serious trouble. When This Guy found out the situation she was in, he valiantly came to her rescue. He paid to bail her out of the trouble, took her home again and in no uncertain terms told her to stay with him because he still loved her and wanted her to stay safe with him.

To me this sounds like a movie plot, or maybe a country song. But no, it’s an Old Testament Bible story about This Guy, named Hosea. Hosea was a prophet. And after choosing those names and rescuing his bride, he taught that God wants to do what he did for his own bride. How romantic! About those kids’ names? He said that God was still going to fulfill his promise to Abraham and make his descendents as numerous as the sand grains at the seashore, and gather up those who were scattered. He said that God still loved and claimed His people no matter what they might have done.

Does God change His mind? Does God not keep His promises? Some people say that the God portrayed in the Old Testament part of the Bible was a different God- the vengeance, judgement and fire were replaced by the ever gentle, loving Jesus. Whoever says that has not read both sections of the Bible. God hasn’t changed, and both the love and the fire are still in effect.

In the Old Testament, don’t miss the love of God shown in miraculous signs and wonders and promises in Genesis and Exodus, sung about in the Psalms, and portrayed metaphorically in Song of Solomon (I’m blushing just thinking about it). Then see the gentle, restoring love of Hosea and his God. Don’t overlook the promises given in Isaiah that Jesus would come because of God’s love.

In the New Testament, the vengeance, judgement and fire are still there. Understand that these were, and are, a demonstration of the holiness of God. These are clearly seen in the prophecies of Jesus and John the Baptist, not a few fatalities in the book of Acts, and of course the final judgement and fire of the book of Revelation.

This Guy and a Pretty Woman are in there to show that God wants to rescue us and restore us from where we’ve gotten ourselves. That’s Old Testament, but it doesn’t change in the New: The grace of John 3:14-18 and I John 1:9 and 4:8-10 weren’t cheap. Curious? Read the end of one of the Gospels (Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19) to see how much it cost, but it’s graphic. Don’t miss what happened after that, you really should finish reading whichever Gospel you choose to read. The best part comes after what I’ve offered above.

Just like This Guy bailed out his wife, God paid a price to bail us out of the trouble we’ve gotten ourselves into. But we have to choose to love Him back, and stay with Him, for ourselves. He’s not going to make us. We can stay in our private jail and keep on sinning, heading down the “Highway to Hell,” (thank you, AC/DC), or we can take the narrow path, guided by Jesus, the good Shepherd of Psalm 23, John 10, and Ecclesiastes 12:11. Call me narrow minded and I’ll thank you. I was on the wide, open (minded) road and I got into trouble. I got bailed out and I’m following The Guy that rescued me. He wants to rescue you too. Come along for the ride!

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