God laments over his people, and compares them to a wayward wife:
“For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.” (Hosea 2:8)
The prophet Hosea spoke God’s message to the people. They had abandoned him, and served the god’s of the surrounding nations. Even though God had helped them overcome greater and mightier nations, they stopped following him. Why?
I believe the reason God’s people followed other “gods” was because the worship of them permitted many things. The worship of the Canaanite’s Baal involved sensuality and ritual prostitution. The Philistines practiced ceremonial drinking and revelry. The Ammonites believed that they could gain control in life by making demands of their god Molech, earned by offering child sacrifices. They were just ordinary humans who made something sacred out of whatever they felt and desired.
But God had given Israel a law that demanded sexual restraint, regard for the lives of others, and obedience that required faith he would come through for them. To follow God involved personal risk; one must be willing to believe that God would do his part. Furthermore, it meant acting according to God’s character, described in the Ten Commandments, and embodied by “love the Lord with all your heart” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”
So the question… is it better to serve God, or some other? That’s the question we face today, as did those people long ago. To follow God means obeying his commands, because we believe he is with us and it will work out for our best. God promises that his commands are actually for our good.
Those words God said echo today… “For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.” Could it be that the blessings we enjoy are actually from God?
Could it be that the cravings of our heart can only be satisfied by him? So then, what are we running after, and who are we giving ourselves to?
Our focus here is on sexuality, and for those of us who struggle with pedophilia. Jesus set the standard very high – he said that if a person lusts in their heart, it’s the same as actually doing the act. That points to pictures and fantasy. God requires that we give ourselves to him completely.
Is it worth it? God’s gentle encouragement is the assurance that he’s the one who gives the good things in life.
Should you and I completely surrender our sexuality to God? It will feel like part of us is dying – dying on the cross with Jesus – but he promises a new life raised up with Jesus. (Romans 6:4) Also, he’ll give us all the good things we thought we were losing. When we surrender something to God, he gives it back in a way that will truly bless us.
If you and I completely surrender our sexuality to God, he’ll be the one who gives us love, intimacy, and fulfillment. We won’t find that anywhere else. Let’s follow God and no other, even if it feels like we are losing at first, because he’s the one who gives us our good things.