I love the Minor Prophets, all the prophets for that matter, but these Minor Prophet books have a way of speaking to the core of your heart if you let them. The prophets speak with such passion, making God’s voice so clear and powerful. For example, in the book of Hosea God showed the people of Israel that he loved them. He did that through the life of Hosea, loving his wife who was unfaithful to him as Israel had been to God. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, didn’t deserve the love of a faithful husband because she had pursued countless lovers. Two of her children were fathered by other men, but in spite of this, Hosea showed her love and invited her back into a faithful relationship. His actions were surprising to those watching. The story is a depiction of God’s marvelous love for Israel and for us.
In chapter three God says to Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress” (Hosea 3:1). God initiated this love by telling Hosea to love his wife. God is still doing this today. He is telling us to “Go and show love to those around us.” Most of the time loving a husband or wife can be the most difficult challenge of love, but it can also be the most meaningful. The kind of love that God shows us and asks us to show is not selfish or motivated by ulterior motives. It is not based on the other person’s performance or worthiness, but instead it is selfless love. When we learn to love people the way God wants us to, it changes us and for the better.
C.S. Lewis writes about the power of love to change us:
This same spiritual law works terribly in the opposite direction. The Germans, perhaps, at first ill-treated the Jews because they hated them: afterwards they hated them much more because they had ill-treated them. The more cruel you are, the more you will hate and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become-and so on in a vicious circle for ever. Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence is lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.i
Imagine that everyday God is saying to us “Go out and show love,” how much our world around us would change. This love is shown to our family, friends and all the people we meet throughout the day. This is the noble calling God has given to us.
i C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, MacMillian Publishing, New York, 1943, p. 117.