We had yard dogs when I grew up. When the female was in heat, we had visitors from miles around. How did they know? The boys came to her. I still have images in my head and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Reverse the scene. Instead of the boys coming to call, in this case, it is the female that is looking for love in all the wrong places. Here’s our text: “Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves to many lovers.” (Hosea 8:9) Israel had become a dealmaker instead of turning to their true Maker. Israel was willing to “get into bed” with anyone who they thought would help them. Israel was trying to sleep her way to the top. It wasn’t working. Her lovers would take what she was offering but did not respect her in the morning. In fact, they laughed at her. They saw Israel as a fool, a jackass.
Some countries today are playing a dangerous game. They are so eager for investments and advantages that they are selling out to the highest bidder, and often the high bidder is China. The Chinese strategy is to spread their influence around the world through infrastructure projects. They make a deal with an emerging country to provide loans and often expertise to build roads, railroads, dams, and the like so they can gain influence within that country. When the loans are not paid back on time, China has made the smaller country dependent on them. These financial entanglements complicate decision making. I’ve been reading a book on Eisenhower and before that a book about Churchill. In the era of the 40’s and 50’s the world was about alliances. Who had influence where? Who controlled what part of the world? The colonial powers were diminishing, and Russian and American influences was in competition. On the world stage and in politics in general it is all about alignments. So, what does this have to do with me and you? Where do you run when you are in trouble? Israel was in trouble, and she ran to Assyria, the very nation that would attack her and destroy her. When you are in heat and desperate where do you turn. When you are standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona with your thumb stuck in the wind who are you hoping will save you? When you are hoping to find a friend and a lover where do you go? The wild donkey is not picky. In fact, the girls all get prettier at closing time. (How many songs can I work into this article?) Another word for “heat” is anxiety. When you get anxious, who do you run to? Whose bed have your boots been under? Today’s favorites are food, porn, alcohol drugs, sexual partners, shopping, binge TV, and horseshoes. (I just threw horseshoes in to see if you were paying attention.) Let’s simplify the choices. Do you run to the WORLD or to GOD?
Israel ran to Assyria, to Baal, to Egypt, to whoever they thought could bail them out of some mess. If I had to identify one single theme of all the prophets, it would be this one. To whom do you turn when you need someone to help you make it through the night? Predators can smell desperation. The loan shark will always make you a high interest loan. The pimp on the street will always be your daddy. The opportunist at the bar will always spot the lonely person. The world will not love you for who you are. It will love you for what you can do for it. God will love you because He made you. He will love you because His Son died for you. He will love you because He wants to be with you forever. His love for us is pure love even greater than the ninety-nine- and forty-four one hundred percent pure love in the song.
Are you looking for someone to hook up with or are you looking for the most committed relationship of all time? Don’t sell yourself to anyone. Go home with the only one that truly loves you.
4Ruth Smith and 3 others