Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Songs & Their Stories: "Hosea Song"

(Brief version live at TBC's Global Gathering with my sweet friend, Alex...)

The other morning as I was driving, I was reminded once again of the fact that the heart is an idol factory. Oh, how mine is... My probing questions: what depresses me? What disappoints me? What angers me? What do I seek for enjoyment? What do I seek comfort from? What am I exalting above the knowledge of God?

“From this we may gather that man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” - John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

“. . . every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.” - John Calvin, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles

Here are some others’ comments on the subject…

Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry. 
Tim Keller

All those who do not at all times trust God and do not in all their works or sufferings, life and death, trust in His favor, grace and good-will, but seek His favor in other things or in themselves, do not keep this [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry, even if they were to do the works of all the other Commandments, and in addition had all the prayers, obedience, patience, and chastity of all the saints combined. For the chief work is not present, without which all the others are nothing but mere sham, show and pretense, with nothing back of them... If we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious to us and is pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to please Him only through and after our works, then it is all pure deception, outwardly honoring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false [savior]...Martin Luther from "A Treaties on Good Works"

Because we are, each of us, the image of God, we will worship, in fact we must worship, someone or something, either our original, as we should, or, with the illusion that we are the original or our own ultimate point of reference, ourselves. If the latter, we will give ourselves over, with the full, still efficient resources of our imaging capacities, to some figment, some distorted image, focused on ourselves or on some aspect of the world, ultimately seen as an extension of ourselves. What Calvin observed long ago is no less true today: the human heart, our image-bearing and image-fashioning nature, is an idol factory.Richard Gaffin from "Speech and the Image of God" in The Pattern of Sound Doctrine

What are a few of my struggles? Pride. Control. Image.

Reflections on this reality brought forth another memory…

A few years ago now, I was confronted with a sin issue in the life of another person dear to me. As I was processing this other person’s struggle, I decided to read through the book of Hosea again. Instead of enlightening me on the issues, I experienced a holy indictment on my own heart, pride and sinfulness. I began to relate to the unfaithfulness of Gomer, of Israel, and then I realized that I was the whore. I was the one exchanging the grace of God for things of this world. I was the prideful one. Oh how I love the book of Ephesians:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph. 2:4-9 ESV)

I confessed my sin and found myself at the piano. Then the Hosea Song came…

May the lyrics of this song encourage your soul today in remembering God’s grace, redeeming love and mercy towards you…

Hosea Song

Stumbled into the darkness

Once bright light became dim

The God of this universe

She exchanged for her sin

Led astray, wandered away

She left God to play the whore

She forsook the Lord

For the ways of this world

Bent towards rebellion

The more He called she turned away

Pride became a snare for her

A wind had wrapped her in its wings

Pay attention, listen daughter

For the judgment is for you

Repent and seek my face

Return to the Lord

O Daughter of Zion

Lured in the wilderness

By a soft, tender voice

The Valley of Trouble

Shall become a Door of Hope

He has torn us

That He may heal us

Struck us down to bind us up

Redeeming love has come

To set the captives free

But God, being rich mercy

Because of the great love

With which He loved us

Even when we were dead in our trespasses

Made us alive together with Christ

By grace you have been saved

Grace through faith

It is a gift of God

That no one may boast

She has received mercy

The one called ‘No Mercy’

‘Not My People’ shall become His own

Redeeming Love has come

Jesus, God’s own Son

We have received mercy

We have received mercy

1 comment:

Beth Celestin said...

I love this post, Kim. I'm struggling through some issues of the heart right now, and this was very encouraging. I think of you often, and hope all is well. Miss y'all!