Extreme Proposals

Hosea“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?  How can I let you go? How can I destroy you…? My heart is torn within me,  and my compassion overflows.” – Hosea 11:8

Forget the days of merely getting down on one knee to ask your beloved to marry you. That’s so yesterday. So ordinary. Extreme proposals are all the rage. Take a few minutes and watch this news report on this growing trend.

It’s amazing how far some people will go to express their love, isn’t it? But I’d suggest to you that these extreme proposals are tame compared the extreme lengths to which God goes to express his love for you, me and all creation.

Take the prophet Hosea for instance. God called Hosea to be a prophet, but rather than speak God’s word to the people of Israel God called Hosea to act out that word, to embody his message. He commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children with her. And when she ran away to practice her trade, God commanded Hosea to chase her down, bring her back and remain faithful to her. Seriously. This is God we’re talking about!

So what was the point? The point is that we’re unfaithful to God, prostituting ourselves to the idols of this world: money, power, selfishness, success, pride, drugs, alcohol, complacency, just to name a few. But God is like Hosea. God will pursue us. God will chase us down. God refuses to reject us. In the face of our unfaithfulness, God remains faithful. In the case of Hosea God goes to extreme measures to propose faithful love.

Of course, that isn’t God’s only extreme proposal. There’s the manger in Bethlehem. And the cross on Calvary. And the relentless movement of the Holy Spirit whispering in our hearts, “I love you. You are mine. I will never leave you or forsake you.”

I suspect that most people have said “yes” to the extreme proposals we saw in that news story. The real question is, how are you responding to God’s extreme proposals to you?

Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Ken Walter

    Oh, to give deep felt thanksgiving for the whisper of the Holy Spirit, speaking those extreme words of our extreme value.