“I did all that I could to undo me, but You loved me enough to pursue me.” It seems I’ve been hearing the song with those lyrics a lot on the radio lately – and I’m thankful I have. I need constant reminders that God loved me enough to pursue me.
A lot of people think God pursues them like a police officer pursuing someone to give him a ticket or like a coach pursuing a player to tell him he ran the play wrong. God does not want us to see His pursuit of us in that way. He pursues us out of love. He pursues as one who keeps on even though he has been told, “No, I’m not interested in you.” He still loves and He still wants a relationship with us.
The story in the Bible of the prophet Hosea is one of the most unusual and shocking love stories you’ll ever find. The Lord tells His prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute. “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord” (Hosea 1:2). Some try to make the story understandable by saying it is just a parable. But it is clear: it really happened.
In a book about Hosea called Pursued Jud Wilhite writes, “As irrational, unexpected, and painful as it may seem to us, God is so passionate about us that He commanded Hosea to engage in a marriage that would crush his heart, just as God’s heart had been crushed.” It’s difficult for us to imagine God telling a prophet to do this, but Wilhite says God did it because “God clearly has a divine obsession with us, His children. And measures we would consider outrageous, to say the least, are not beyond His limit to get His point across.”
Hosea marries the prostitute Gomer. He is a faithful, loving husband, but his wife, Gomer, continues to be an adulteress. But the Lord doesn’t give up. He calls Hosea to pursue Gomer. “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods” (Hosea 3:1).
Hosea’s love for Gomer doesn’t make sense. And neither does God’s love for us. As Wilhite says, “… what we see in Hosea is … a love that defies all logic and beats all odds.”
You are loved today with a love that defies all logic. God loves you so much He chooses to pursue you, even if that pursuit seems foolish. His crazy, full-of-love-for-you pursuit led Jesus to go all the way to the cross to give His life for you.
Some may feel like the only time they get pursued is when somebody wants them to do something for them. It’s different with the Lord. He doesn’t pursue us simply because He wants more workers. He pursues us because He loves us and wants to be in a relationship of love with us.
Charlie Brown would look in his mailbox, wishing somebody would send him a Valentine. Instead of looking in the mailbox with wishful longing, look in the Bible and find the logic-defying, never-give-up, keep-on-pursuing love that Jesus has for you.