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God's Difficult Commands

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Has God ever asked you to do something difficult, something you didn’t understand? Well, if so, you stand alongside many people of faith. Abraham was asked to move to a land he’d never seen at age 75. Moses was asked to lead millions of slaves to freedom. Gideon was asked to go against an army of thousands with only 300 men.

God’s command to Hosea was extremely difficult. He said, Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness (Hosea 1:2). Excuse me! I don’t think I heard you correctly! These words would have been my response to God. However, scripture records no objections. Hosea obeyed and married Gomer.

Why would God ask Hosea to do something that would result in betrayal, heartache and even shame? Wasn’t God concerned about the happiness of His faithful servant? If God’s plan for His people is good, then how could God ask this of His committed follower? Perhaps these are questions you’ve asked of God. 

God’s command resulted in God’s glory. God revealed His character through the words and actions of Hosea. He showed the Israelites that He is a faithful God who loves unconditionally. Through Hosea, God gave Israel a clear picture of His forgiveness and redemption and also showed the Israelites their hopeless state apart from His mercy. God used the life of Hosea to open the spiritual eyes of His people.

Have you ever considered that God might be allowing your present difficulty to open the spiritual eyes of others? How clearly is God’s character being displayed through your words and actions? How willing are you to lay down your own agenda, your comfort or even your reputation if it means others are drawn closer to God?

Lord, as I ponder these questions make me willing to lay down my life for the good of others. Give me a willing heart to obey You without question and use me to lead others toward holiness.  Amen. 

Jan Burkhart

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