Hosea is a challenging book, I find. It’s hard to know how to relate to a story of a man who is directed by God to marry a women of questionable morals. For this reason, I think many people, including myself, shy away from digging into this book. Once we get to the application of the lived-out parable, it is easy. But before that. . . . Well, it’s just awkward, isn’t it?
With that kind of lead in, you’re probably expecting some great reversal and for me to say that I’ve studied the first part of this book and found something fabulous to share. Well, yes and no. I do have something that I believe is fabulous to share from the book of Hosea; it’s just not from the beginning of the book. Sorry for the bit of bait-and-switch there.
What I’d like to consider with you is from chapter 11 of Hosea.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them. (Hosea 11:4)
Beautiful image isn’t it? God drawing us with gentle cords. But as I was studying this verse, I wondered how it was worded in other translations. This is what I found.
With human cords I would lead them,
With bands of love.
I was to them as one lifting the yoke from their jaws and,
bending down, I fed them. (Modern Language Bible)
Lots of similarity except for the very beginning: “gentle cords” and “human cords.” To me, that is very significant, for I’ve experienced some not so gentle human cords supposedly attempting to draw me to God. Yet, there it is. God wants to use us to draw others to Him. Astounding.