On Facebook, a friend invited me to take the “Which mighty woman of the Bible are you most like?” quiz, so I did. The result: I’m most like Mary Magdalene. Here’s what it had to say about the two of us…
She was forgiven much & loved much, and you certainly love much! You are a passionate person, who loves God & life. You have a tendency to count your blessings and be very grateful, even in small things. You are an overcomer, and will not allow any life circumstances to hold you down.
At first I was shocked! “What?” I thought. “How did they come up with that?” I mean I have been forgiven much, but not for the same sins as Mary—or so I thought.
After pondering the result, I realized that, ‘yes,’ I have played the harlot. When it comes to my love relationship with God, I’ve played the harlot many times. I’ve broken God’s heart by breaking my commitment to Him and running after other lovers.
I sin and play the harlot every time I break this command, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut 6:5). When God is not first in my life, it means I’m having an affair with another.
This reminds me of the book of Hosea found in the bible. In this book, there are two stories going on; three really. The first story is about the domestic life of Hosea who is a prophet and has married a whore by God’s command.
The second story is about the nation of Israel, God’s bride, and how she is playing the harlot.
The third story is our story and the lessons we learn about our God’s divine love and how our sinful nature breaks His heart. Bottom line, Hosea is about what happens when the strength of Divine love meets the nature of sin in each of us. God’s love is strong enough to redeem us!
It’s through Hosea’s marriage with Gomer that he begins to understand the sin of Israel, God’s bride, and the heart of God toward her. The infidelity of Gomer interprets the infidelity of Israel. In other words, God reveals himself through Hosea’s own life experiences allowing Hosea to see deep into the heart of God.
Gomer, like Israel, plays the harlot. Unable to stay in one bed, both run after other lovers. Eventually, both Hosea and God pull away from their relationships allowing Gomer and Isreal to fall deep into sin. But God…leaves open a door of hope. Like a light burning in the night widow as if waiting for the return of a loved one, God always provides a way home. In this case, it’s an open door.
Does this sound familiar? Have you played the harlot, too? Do you see God’s heart toward you?
He suffers for those who cease to love Him and suffer for it. Like a father who suffers for their wayward child, God asks himself, “What will I do with you?” What God means by that statement is this: Our sin is not the problem. God can deal with that and He has through the saving grace of Jesus Christ who died on the cross as payment for our sins. His great difficulty is how to keep us faithful—how to keep us totally in love with Him and Him alone.
That’s an interesting thought. My pastor asked another interesting question last Sunday that I feel goes along with this. “If God is so amazing and so wonderful that we are in awe of Him, how on earth can we get bored with Him?” And run after other lovers? I might add.
Though God suffers in the presence of sin, His love persists. In spite of me and my wretched sin, God loves me. And, He loves you with a love that won’t let go. How?
Broken hearted, God opens a door of hope; a way back home. We see this truth when He tells Hosea to go, to love again and buy back his wife who at this point has sunken to the lowest level. She’s a slave.
Hosea purchases his wife for no more than the cost of bottled water. Not because he loves her, but in obedience to God’s command. But! Hosea’s love for her comes again!
Hosea learns that the mercy and forgiveness of God is unquenchable love. Love is the open door. God seeks out the sinner. However, let’s be clear. Sin has no open door. Only love can do it. God’s divine love swings open the door of hope.
This love of God is not like human love. For no matter how many times we play the harlot, at the end of the day God’s wants us back in His bed. That’s Divine love!
So, yes, I guess I am like Mary Magdalene. I’ve been forgive by a love that won’t let go. This has developed in me a passion for God, and enabled me to be an over-comer of sin.
It also causes my heart to sing: “Love so amazing, so Divine, demands my life, my soul, my all.”