Choices. Life and how it unfolds is all about choices. When we read Hosea's story, we are more than a little confused about the choices God leads him to make. Marry a woman named Gomer is troubling enough, but to know her backstory – that is confusing! She was known as a "promiscuous woman." She gave birth to three children, and the last two were named "Lo-Ruhumah" and "Lo-Ammi." Now, these are unusual names to begin with, but the story takes a deeper twist when we learn that Lo-Ruhamah means "not loved" and Lo-Ammi means "not my people."
What a cruel calling Hosea was given in life! What terrible names to give a child! What was God thinking? As we read further in Hosea's story, we will learn that God gave him this calling to serve as a reminder of God's faithfulness to us, even when we fail to be faithful to him. While Israel lost their way with God, he continued to pursue them and eventually restored them. He eventually showed love to 'Lo-Rahamah' and chose 'Lo-Ammi' to be part of his family.
Thankfully, we are not given difficult marital choices like Hosea, but we are still called to a journey with God based on trust, faithfulness, and loyalty. Yet, like Israel of old, we easily lose our way at times. Romans 6 reminds us of the fundamental choice we need to make in life. We will either choose to allow sin to master our lives, or we will allow Jesus to be our Lord. Paul urges the Galatian people, and us, to offer our lives wholly and fully to God for his purposes as instruments of righteousness.
Choices determine destinies, and we learn in this passage that choices are based on knowledge. Three times Paul uses the language of "don't you know" (in verses 3, 6, and 9.) The 2020 Project matters because it opens us to God's truth that informs and transforms how we see the world. May what we love, how we live and who we serve always be determined by God's eternal and inspired truth. May we truly be people of the book. And may we always live knowing we were chosen by the One who loves us and created us for a divine and amazing purpose!
Let us offer ourselves fully to God this day, all day and every day.
Grateful to be loved by God and chosen by God!