I do not know anything about suffering for God. I don’t. I just don’t. I read through a book like Hosea, and I realize that I really have no clue about obedience leading to suffering. If you’ve never read the book of Hosea, then 1) stop reading this and go read it. Your time will be better spent. 2) If you’re still reading this, then here is a brief synopsis. Hosea is called as a prophet when he’s a young, single guy. God tells him to go marry a woman who is adulterous, someone known for sleeping around. That doesn’t do anything for your reputation, either as a man or as a prophet. I’m sure lots of elbow nudging went on with his friends; “Yeah, we know why you married her. God TOLD you to.” (Nudge, nudge).
Then, she cheats on him, and he has to buy her back. Did you catch that; buy her back. He had to swallow his pride and go buy her back. Spend actual money to redeem this woman who ran off on him. She ran off AFTER she and Hosea had three kids together.
All of this so that the nation of Judah could learn a lesson, which they didn’t learn.
Hosea was one massive failure. Married poorly, humiliated, and all for a cause that didn’t work.
Surely he didn’t hear God correctly. God would never give advice like that. Ever.
But He does.
The question is do we listen? I think the crazy part of the story isn’t God giving Hosea crazy commands. The miracle part is Hosea listening, and then obeying. Repeatedly.
I want to be like that. Nuts for Jesus.
But I also don’t want to be like that. It’s expensive.
Therein lies the battle inside of me. It’s easier not to listen than to listen and wrestle.
I have to do a better job of listening AND obeying.
At least if I ever want to be nuts like Hosea. What about you?