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    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    The Art of Redemption #2

     We all need it.  We all desperately desire it.  Redemption is it's name.

     Redemption is defined as the following: deliverance; rescue. (Theology)  deliverance from sin; salvation. atonement for guilt.  repurchase, as of something sold.  paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note. recovery by payment, as of something pledged. (Dictionary.com "Redemption").

     This is not simply something that is undertaken or accepted easily.  There is an art to this redemption, a stroke of artistic genius that goes a long with redemption, something planned well before redemption was fully possible.

      When you look at the Bible, you can see the recurring themes of fall, redemption, fellowship back to fall.  We, sadly are much like the characters in the Bible in that we do similar wonderings as they did.  We fall prey to the easy street of compromise.  Yet, God still desires us to be redeemed and in fellowship with him.

      Think of Hosea's prostitute wife.  She had children by other men, yet Hosea remained loyal, loving and redemptive.  He could have thrown her out on the curb, left her pennieless, childless and homeless...yet he never does.  By the rights of the law, he had full legal rights to publically kill her by throwing stones at her...yet he never does.

      In fact, one amazing story of redemption is when Gomer (Hosea's wife) is in bed with another man who bought her for the night.  Hosea seeks her out, catches them in bed, pays the man and takes his wife home.

    Here's the account:
    "And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins." So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley" (Hosea 3:1-2 ESV).

      Some may call Hosea dumb for his gracious act.  Some may burn with anger at Gomer.  My hope is that we can see ourselves in the story.  The way this is artistically drawn out is incredible.  God used Hosea's life as kind of a "reality show" to wake up the Israelites to the fact that they were/are Gomer.  This is the lesson for us. 
    We are/were Gomer
    We see God's grace in this way and some secretly get made.  How could God redeem such a whore we say inwardly.  She was prostituting herself to other men, yet God chose to use her husband to redeem her?  We may also see the gross sin of the Israelites and wonder why God would continue to redeem such a crowd of ungrateful, naughty, idol worshipping dorks.
      We forget that inwardly, many of us have committed heinous sins...just no one knows about them.  We can get ourselves off the hook because we haven't "done" those things...but God knows our hearts.
      Here's the art of redemption: Even though God knows our hearts, he still sent his son to die for us.  Even though we were lying in bed with Satan, Christ still came, paid the price, yanked us out of that bed and brought us home.
      Why do we desire to lay with Satan time and time again?  Why do we choose to leave our marriage bed with the Lord to cheat on him with the sins that ensnare us? 

    I think it's due to a forgetting of the Art of Redemption;
    The beauty of it
    The joy of it
    The deep, true meaning of it
    And the cost of it.
      To buy us back, God died.  To pay the cost, Blood was spilled out.  May we cling to Christ as we remember the Art of Redemption.  May we remind ourselves of this redemption story when we are tempted to cheat on God with the sins Satan dangles in front of us.  May sin lose it's attraction as we see God and the beauty of the art of His redeeming Love!