Beloved Thornbushes

I will block her path with thornbushes. (Hosea 2:6)

In spite of her unfaithfulness to God, God remained faithful to Israel, and He used thornbushes for Israel’s good and His glory. Instead of abandoning Israel, as she had turned her back on God over and over and over again, He blocked her path with beloved thornbushes to keep His chosen people from diving any deeper into their sinful and willful rebellion against God by seeking after lesser lovers.

How blessed we are to know that when we love Jesus less than we should, He loves us just the same! Jesus pursues sinful rebels on the run away from Him with an unrelenting, unconditional love that will stop at nothing to bring us to our spiritual senses. When we chase after smaller gods, He comes after us and rescues our hearts from the broken cisterns, idols, and illusions that have captured our attention. Our God is a jealous God; He will tolerate no rival for our affections, so He sends beloved thornbushes to block our path into sin and protect us from ourselves.

Notice how the passage from Hosea closes:

I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.” (Hosea 2:6-7)

God loves us so much that He continues to pursue us and bring us back into a right relationship with Him. Oh, how we all long for the day when we will never have to say, “I will go back to my husband as at first,” for we shall never again leave His side. But until that day, always keep in view how much you are loved by God and how He protects you from your selfish and sinful ways. Let us rejoice in knowing that the God of the universe has a special love for us, a love that endures forever and ever, even when we chase after the mirages that lure us into being less than He has called us to be.

Where in your life has God saved you from yourself by putting beloved thornbushes in your path as you were losing your way? Lesser gods and smaller loves will never satisfy, so rejoice in whatever beloved thornbushes God uses to keep you from finding satisfaction in anything smaller than Jesus.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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