My friend, Jud Wilhite, has a new book releasing February 5 called Pursued – God’s Divine Obsession with You. Using the biblical prophet Hosea’s marriage to an unfaithful prostitute, Jud illustrates the passion, love, and relationship God desires to have with you.
I’m a huge fan of Jud and his work and recently read an interview he did about the new book. Here are some of the highlights:
So why the book of Hosea? It’s certainly not one of the more familiar books of the Bible.
No, but I really think it should be. Seriously—it’s way more than one of those obscure books you skip through in your yearly Bible reading plan. It’s a real-life soap opera, in which God tells a man named Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer and to stay with her despite her unfaithfulness.
God wasn’t trying to ruin Hosea’s life; He wanted to create a picture of His own love for each one of us. The entire book is a beautiful picture of God’s consistent pursuit of us, His persistent and gracious love, and His desire to fulfill our needs in profound ways.
If the most powerful example of God’s love for us is Him sending Jesus to die on a cross, I think the second most powerful is the story of Hosea.
What did you learn from studying this book? Was there a particular insight that really hit you?
The overarching message of Hosea just floored me. God is so emotionally engaged with His people and He is so passionate. Just the picture He chose of a man pursing his unfaithful wife, taking her back again and again, is enough to blow your mind when you reflect on your relationship with God. I felt like there was so much spiritual gold in Hosea that we just completely miss and I tried to mine it out.
You talk about shame and the crazy way it affects our lives, but you also show that God’s gift to us
We think God can forgive this person or that person, but not us. I realized this is actually a prideful way of thinking, because when you say God can’t forgive you you’re really saying, “God, you’re going to have to pay a higher price for me.”
This is the insane way shame works in our lives. We feel worthless, but we don’t think God’s gift of Jesus is big enough or worth enough to save us.
If anyone should have felt shame, it was Gomer. But Hosea redeems her from sexual slavery and prostitution. He literally buys her back. And their story is a reminder to all of us that Jesus came to buy us back. His sacrifice was enough.
You’ve created a free 14 day Pursued challenge. What is it and how can we get more info?
I wanted to create a simple tool for people to go on a journey with God through Hosea and experience more of Him. Every day for 14 days I email a short devotional for the day around the themes of Pursued to encourage people in their spiritual journey. The consistency of taking just a few minutes a day to pause and reflect has a real cumulative power and I believe this challenge can reignite spiritual growth and passion. I’d love for people to join me for this journey! You can sign up for it for free at pursuedbook.com.
This story needs to be shared and I’m thankful Jud wrote it. To learn more about Pursued, check out pursuedbook.com.