Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Fresh Start

I decided to spend some time reading through the minor prophets in the Old Testament beginning with Hosea, a book about a man whom God asks to marry a prostitute knowing that she would eventually be unfaithful and break his heart.  

The lesson I learned today was so appropriate for the first month of a new year.  It was all about fresh starts.

God instructs Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute, and have a family with her.  Her harlotry was an example of God's people chasing after other "loves" and forsaking their God.  The couple have three children and then Gomer returns to her former way of life saying, "I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink." Hosea 2:5

My translation--"Someone other than God can fulfill my needs better."

Little does Gomer realize that her husband, Hosea, is the one who really was supplying all of those needs.  Hosea says, "For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil and lavished on her silver and gold." Do you see that?  Hosea gave her even more than she needed. Eventually she comes to her senses. (Mainly because God hedged up her way with thorns and built a wall against her so that she could not find her path. Hosea 2:6) 

Gomer's indiscretion is revealed and her shame is made evident. 

But this is where I was really amazed. 

Hosea says in 2:14, "And now, here's what I'm going to do:  I'm going to start all over again.  I'm taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her." (The Message) 

After her unfaithfulness, her looking to others to fulfill her needs, Hosea says he will take her back and give their relationship a fresh start.

Gomer's new start began with her returning to her first love, Hosea.  She recognized the error of her ways, the foolishness of her thinking.  She found out the hard way that chasing after the wrong "supplier" could not fulfill her needs at all. 

A fresh start!

That's what January 1st represents.  That's why there is a first of the month 12 times a year.  That's why every week has a Sunday.  That's why every day has a sunrise.  Every 60 minutes there is a top of the hour.  Every minute starts with a new count of 1 to 60. 

God offers fresh starts, new beginnings.

Lamentation 3:22,23 states that "The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Thy faithfulness."

When I find myself on the wrong path and relent and return to the Supplier of all my needs, the Lord meets me with a new compassion and gives me a fresh start. 

As a new year begins, it signals a fresh start.  The house is cleaned up of the Christmas decor and clutter and feels fresh and simple.  I am anxious to begin a new set of goals and objectives.  I am ready to get started on a new Bible study guide.  I am looking forward to what a new year has to offer.  

I will try to be intentional to fulfill the goals I have set but I know that there will be set backs.  I am not expecting myself to fail but I am trying to be realistic here.   If or when those stumbles occur I can have a fresh start after confession of my errors.  This knowledge gives me the encouragement I need to start again, to accept God's offer of a fresh start.

Thank you, Lord, for fresh starts, for new beginnings.  Thank you for Your compassions that are new every morning. Thank you for this new year, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I love your insight into this passage. Life is full of fresh starts.