I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like to pretend like He doesn’t actually know everything about me.
Because the people that have known me, most of the people who have known me, all of me, have ended up leaving me. It’s what they do. It’s what I make them do. Or so it would seem that way.
And it’s too vulnerable for me.
I don’t want to be known. Not like that. I like to have some secrets. Some mystery.
And so as I read these verses, I found myself trying to hide even more.
Because, let’s face it. He knows us. He knows all of us. He knows the parts of us that we want people to see and people to know and then He knows the parts of us that we don’t even like to admit to ourselves.
He knows it all.
And I’d be lying to you if I pretended like He would be happy with me 90% of the time. Nope, probably not. I imagine I disappoint Him a lot.
Like, a lot, a lot.
In fact, I’m feeling like a disappointment right now.
And I’m feeling like this chapter in Hosea was written just for me.
Did anyone else feel God’s anger when they read this chapter? I know we don’t like to talk about God being angry with us. Not in Western Christianity, anyways. We much prefer the God who is never angry. The God who lavishes us with blessings and helps check off our to-do lists. The God who is rainbows and sunshine and glitter. The God who turns the other cheek every single time we screw up. The God who rights our wrongs and delivers no consequences.
That’s the God we like to talk about. At least, I know I do.
But that’s not the God from this chapter in Hosea, is it?
This God is actually pretty angry. I mean, He’s talking consequences for Israel’s actions. He stopped tenderly pleading for them to come back to Him, now He is telling them, assuring them, that if they don’t turn back to Him, something bad will happen.
He’s guaranteeing it.
And isn’t that the way it happens? Don’t most of us find ourselves merrily skipping along in life, with no care in the world, as long as things are going well. When things are going well, we don’t really acknowledge our need for Him. We don’t seek Him. We find whatever we are looking for everywhere else.
When I first read this chapter I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like the mean, angry God that was described. I felt much more comfortable with the happy God who saw me as His perfect child who could do no wrong. I wanted that one back.
But then as I read this chapter, over and over again, I kept hearing the phrase “I know you, He says.”
“I know you.”
He knows me. He knows you, too. And while I know He isn’t thrilled with most of the decisions I make, the thing is, He knows me and He loves me in spite of it all.
Having someone know me and having them choose to love me anyways, is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for since my husband walked out on me, over a year ago.
It’s exactly what I haven’t found in all the men I’ve dated.
But here it is. In the place I wouldn’t think to look. He knows me and He loves me.
I’m not saying that angry God should be ignored. Because clearly, He is angry, but He’s angry for good reason. He does love us. He loves us so much. And it must break His heart to see us searching for what only He can give us.
“I know you, He says. You are not hidden from me. You turn to false loves, but they cannot cure you. They cannot heal your wounds. Seek me. Return and repent.”
Sometimes I have a hard time returning. Especially after a bad decision. One that I know broke His heart. But this, this is so comforting. Because He already knows those parts of me. He already knows those bad decisions and He chooses to love me, unconditionally, anyways.
So, I can read this chapter and not feel ashamed. Not feel angry. Or embarrassed. I can read this and feel completely loved.
I can read this and instead of wanting to run away even further, I can turn around and let Him find me.
And I don’t know about you, but I desperately needed that reminder today.
Lord, thank you for loving us in spite of. Thank you that even in your anger we can feel your love for us. Thank you for never turning your back on us completely. Lord, help us to stop seeking this love in other places. Help us to return and repent. Help us to remember that you know us. And that it’s okay that you do.