Have you ever read something in the Bible that made absolutely no sense to you? I have to admit that I have, many times. Sometimes weeks or months later, I hear someone explain the passage from a perspective I never considered before, and all of a sudden it makes perfect sense. The book of Hosea is one of those passages. If you don’t understand that the story is really about God pursuing the human race, it will make absolutely no sense. It makes no sense because God told Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer, who continually went back to prostitution and broke His heart over and over.
This weekend I saw the movie “Redeeming Love.” I had no idea what to expect in regards to visual affects, script writing and acting. I knew the crux of the story, but it had been 30 years since I’d read the book. I do remember that I was not able to put the book down. Over the years it became common knowledge that it was a favorite book for a multitude of ladies. Don’t we all love to be pursued?
It thrills me to see how God is pursuing people today through movies and t.v. shows. I am currently loving watching the t.v. show about Jesus and His disciples called “The Chosen.” If you don’t know about this t.v. show, look it up.
We live in a very different world today. In the Old Testament God pursued His people through all sorts of ways. Some heard about God through prophets. Some experienced horrible circumstances led by evil leaders. God used those things to reach out to his people also. Nothing will stop His urgent pursuit to bring His children home. For many years people heard about God through attending church. Sadly, church attendance in today’s culture decreases more with each passing year. This does not tie God’s hands. God will ALWAYS pursue people’s hearts in unique ways. I believe this movie will be used to open the eyes of the unbelieving. So many, in our society, have a distorted concept of God. They have no idea that God loves them unconditionally with an unlimited amount of patience. This movie and bible story is a beautiful picture of God’s relentless pursuit of us all.
I’m not surprised to see some controversy about a few of the scenes in “Redeeming Love.” The story is about a woman that runs back to prostitution over and over. I don’t see any way to portray a movie regarding a prostitute who was sexually abused as a child in a G rated movie. They are telling a bible story that has an incredible redemptive ending and I believe God wants to use this movie. The Bible has quite a few passages that could be rated R because the Bible is about life. Life get’s messy. And people are flawed and sinful. I pray the religious can be patient and cautious with their criticisms.
I am a survivor of early childhood sexual abuse, and I was triggered at this movie. I cried, and I hurt, but I would take nothing for seeing this movie. As it showed certain scenes I felt like something was literally sitting on my chest. I am a survivor. I am healed AND I am healing. My story is my story and there will always be times I get triggered. However, the bigger thing that happened tonight was that I saw God’s love for me in a deeper way than I’ve seen ever before.
You see, when you accept Jesus as your Savior at six years old, it is hard to truly appreciate being saved from your sins. I mean, how many sins can a six year old commit? When I would read the Bible, and see the Israelites forsake God over and over I would think, “What is their problem?” Did I mention that I come from a family where I learned “self-righteous and judgmental flesh patterns?” But tonight something changed in my thinking. The love that Hosea had for Gomer portrayed by Michael and Abbie on the big screen touched my heart. And when you saw the background of Abbie you could understand why she kept going back to her comfort zone of sin and believing lies about herself. This weekend I saw how much God loves us! All of us! I understood what unconditional love really looks like. I saw there is a reason why people stay in sin. I saw, but for the grace of God, goes I. I could have been Gomer/Abbie. I felt a deeper sense of gratitude for the protection God gave me, even though, I endured horrific pain in my life. It could have been worse. My life could have looked very different than it does today. And I am grateful!
Read the book of Hosea. Go see the movie if you aren’t easily offended by the storyline. If you go, realize it will have some tough scenes. Ask God what He wants to show you about His character and His love for you. I do not believe it is a coincidence that so many biblical movies are being produced, and I can’t wait to see how many hearts are changed through this one.