Miss Smith, my high school English teacher, taught me that a verb shows action or state of being. Nouns may tell you who and what, but verbs tell you how and when. I recently watched a House Committee Hearing. The testimony was riveting, the cross examination was disturbing, but the “what-are-we-going-to-do-about-it” was mostly absent. One Representative spoke up and raised that issue. He made the point that Congress’ job is to make laws that supposedly make things better. He suggested that they focus on what law the committee could write and recommend based on the testimony they were hearing. In other words, he was saying that the Committee should DO SOMETHING. “A lot less talk and a lot more action.” In Hosea the problem is well stated. God is giving Hosea some marriage counseling. “Now Hosea I know your wife is stepping out on you with a lot of guys around town. I know that is terrible and that you are in a state of shock, pain, and anger.” Hosea responds, “You got that right. So, what am I supposed to do about it?” “God replies, “I am glad you asked.” Hosea 3:1 says, “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go and get your wife again. Bring her back to you and love her, even though she loves adultery. For the LORD still loves Israel even though the people have turned to other gods, offering them choice gifts.’” Do you see the action words? Go, Get, Bring Back, and Love.
Let’s say I take my sin off the table for a moment. I feel better already. Now I can focus on everyone else’s sin. I like that. Now let’s divide the sins of others into two groups, personal and impersonal. Let’s take the impersonal sins off the table. What I have left is the sins of others that are personal to me. It is the sins that were sinned against me. Hosea was living amid much impersonal sin, the idolatry of the nation. God wanted to make it more personal. He told him to marry a woman that mirrored the national sin. Now it was personal. It is his wife that is playing the harlot. It is his marriage that is tanking. It is him who is staying home with another man’s baby while his wife is out making another baby with another man. God wanted to show Hosea that all sins are personal to Him. When a sin is personal, you normally feel like you need to do something about it. That is why when it is your kid that is killed in a school shooting you are the one testifying before Congress begging them to do something about it. You want a lot less talk and a lot more action. What did Hosea expect to hear from God? I doubt it is what he heard from God. “Go get your wife, bring her home, and love her.” WHOA! Hosea thinks: “Go and get and even bring back I get, but you want me to love her after all she has done to me?” YEP.
As Christians we are supposed to “Go into all the world” get lost souls, bring them back to God, and love them. That seems hard enough for us to do. But what about the lost soul who stole from me, who insulted me, who lied to me, who broke my trust, who cheated on me, who didn’t pick up the dog poop in my yard?” God wants me to go get those folks too, bring them back to God, and love them along with the love that God will show to them. So, you want a lot less talk and a little more action? Here you go! The counseling session is over.