The change of seasons is always a welcomed relief, especially for those of us who have to endure those sometimes unbearable temperatures, whether cold or hot… day in and day out.
Of the four temperate seasons, none of them excite me quite like the ushering in of autumn. To me it holds a unique appeal.
I'm not sure why it is that always around this time of the year, I suddenly come alive with a transfusion of vigor and vitality.
Perhaps it's the noticeable scurry of nature as she readies herself for the harsh weather. Or maybe it's the graceful descent of the orange, brown and red leaves as they quietly spin and toil to their waiting fate, the ground.
I love to watch my furry little friend’s, those precocious, fun- loving squirrels. They no longer have time to chase each other across the tops of picket fences, but instead are storing lots of acorns and nuts deep in the knotty holes of what will soon be their cozy winter dens.
Even the autumn, evening sky tells of a coming change by its horizontal streaks of amber, pink, and gold, outlining the silhouette of the sun’s departure. What a masterful painting our Creator strokes, as evening makes its sullen approach. The chill of the night air whispers through our windows causing a slight stir of the curtains and sending a reflex of a shiver.
Granted, I’m sure there are many people out there who are just as captivated by the allure of autumn, but there is another kind of “allure” that I’ve recently been reading about, one that I find deeply intriguing. You can read about it in the Old Testament book of Hosea.
Like a romantic novel, it’s the story about God’s promise to “allure” us to Himself by way of a beautiful betrothal.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart. There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.) And it shall be in that day, says the Lord, that you will call Me Ishi [my Husband], and you shall no more call Me Baali [my Baal]. For I will take away the names of Baalim [the Baals] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned or seriously remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for Israel with the living creatures of the open country and with the birds of the heavens and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword and [abolish battle equipment and] conflict out of the land and will make you lie down safely. And I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will even betroth you to Me in stability and in faithfulness, and you shall know (recognize, be acquainted with, appreciate, give heed to, and cherish) the Lord” (Hosea 2:14-20).
Isn’t that the most beautiful promise? I don’t know about you…but that loving proposal, that divine invitation to be joined in glorious union with the Maker of all heaven and the earth is hard to turn down.
Our God can be very alluring in His advances toward us, His beloved. It never ceases to amaze me how awesomely faithful He is. At the very end of the chapter (in verse 23), He demonstrates once again His covenant keeping power to us His bride, even when we are not always faithful in our responses to Him.
“I will show my love to the one I called, ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say…’You are my God.’”
Amazing, God is faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to Him. What greater love could there be? How wonderfully alluring… how beautifully divine.
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