When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved. –Hosea 9:10
I stumbled upon this verse just over a year ago in the aftermath of a wave of destruction in my life. It really made me think about the power our choices have on the rest of our lives. As my eyes were being unveiled to the nature of deceit and manipulation I had fallen prey to, I was startled to realize that it all began with one choice. That’s all. It took one decision against my better judgment, and in the time frame of one year, my life was nearly destroyed. My sensitivity to the Holy Spirit had dwindled and my passion for ministry was barely visible through the fog of self-betrayal.
It pains me to think about what that one choice did to the heart of God… I imagine it was something like what we read in the above verse. I think God was full of grief to see the children of Israel—whom he had set apart, who were such a source of refreshment to his heart—take on the very nature of the thing they chased after. “Vile.” What a dramatic change from being an image of the glory of God, the one(s) to reveal Him to the nations.
And yet, in the messes we make, there is grace.
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. –2 Samuel 14:14
It really is that simple. It is a beautiful thing to step into an understanding of the incredible mercy that flows from the heart of God… He always seeks to restore us back to Himself.