Friday, April 9, 2010

Redeeming Love

I just finished reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers today. It's a work of fiction based on the book of Hosea. And it's so amazing. Life-changing even. Personally, I feel like it captures God's longing after us better than the book of Hosea. The book of Hosea is full of God's wrath and anger (both of which are righteous, I might add) against Israel. The first few chapters are okay. Hosea marries a prostitute. She bears him children whom Hosea gives names like "No Mercy" and "Not my people." Then it talks about how God is angry at Hosea's wife, not even showing her children mercy. Hosea's wife runs away from him. God softens her heart and she returns to Hosea, and the book goes on to tell of God's mercy towards Israel. But then it turns sour again. Hosea's wife runs away and the rest of the book talks of God's judgement on Israel for turning away from Him.

But Redeeming Love has so much more mercy and grace in it. I don't want to say to much about it, it'll spoil it. But it not just depicts God as having righteous anger, but also being incredibly loving and merciful beyond all human comprehension, a quality I feel the book of Hosea lacks.

But I don't really blame him. Sure, the book is the inspired word of God, but the author still has his own point of view. Take the gospels, for example. There are stories that occur in all four gospels, but which are very different from each other. Back to my point. I can understand why it reads all wrath and anger. If my spouse, a spouse God told me I should marry, one whom I still love, kept cheating on me and running away, I'd be pretty angry too.

But the moral of the story is, read Redeeming Love. That's a command. Not a request. You'll thank me later.