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RAINY ROMANTIC RESCUE MOVIES AND OUR REDEEMER

 

 

 

Casablanca
Breakfast at Tiffanys

 

Sleepless in Seattle
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice

Miss Potter

(The following excerpt is from The God of All Comfort)

I’m not giving away Steve’s trench coat.

I want to see it when I open the closet. I want to run my hand through its soft furry lining. If I have to run up to our mailbox in the rain, it’s that trench coat I reach for – a sheltering shield covering me from head to foot, protecting me from the wet, yet flooding my heart with memories:

  • The day I met him – a cold February day on the campus of Northwestern University. He caught up with me after class and introduced himself. I was so excited that this man whom I’d secretly admired was approaching me that I was trembling. Steve thought I was shaking from the cold wind off of Lake Michigan, and there, right in front of Deering Library, with hundreds of students passing by, he gallantly took off his trench coat and put it over my shoulders. My knees nearly buckled.
  • Our first date, just two days later – shy with each other while we were walking to the movie. Suddenly the sky opened up, pouring down buckets and buckets of water. Steve opened his coat and tucked me in, covering me, as we ran laughing into the theatre.
  • Running into him by surprise downtown. We’d been married twenty-five years, but my heart still did flip flops to see him. I saw him first: taking long strides, looking strikingly handsome and masculine. His hands were in the pockets of that trench coat, his head down – concentrating, thinking hard about something. I stood still, right in the middle of his path, smiling, anticipating his reaction. Startled to be blocked, he stopped and looked up. A sudden smile of delight, then, that laugh I loved. He spread his arms, which opened his coat like sheltering wings, inviting me in. There we were, on Central Avenue, enveloped together, more in love than newlyweds.

 

But of course this isn’t about trench-coats, but about something far, far deeper.

 

THE MYSTERY

 

It’s a mystery, Paul says in Ephesians, but marriage is a foreshadowing of a much more lasting relationship: Christ and His Bride.

When a husband tenderly protects his wife, he becomes a reflection of the ultimate Bridegroom. The quaint Old Testament phrase for this husbandly protection is “covering.” He is to “cover” his wife by bringing her under “his wing, or his skirt, or his garment.”  It is personal and tender: like a mother bird sheltering her young with her wing; like a father wrapping his shivering little girl in a blanket; and like Steve opening his trenchcoat and shielding me from the rain. In medieval Jewish wedding ceremonies, the groom would take his prayer shawl and cover his bride as a symbol of his willingness to also tenderly cover her with protection, provision, and love.

 

If we look deeply at the love stories that move our hearts, we will inevitably glimpse Jesus.

 

Saturday, September 22 (3 years after Steve’s death)

 

Thank You Lord for a lovely day. Lee and her friend Susan came and we spent the day watching the waves, laughing, and lingering over a dinner at sunset. Then we got in our pajamas, popped popcorn, and watched “Miss Potter,” the story of Beatrix Potter, the creator of “Peter Rabbit.”

 

Oh. I wept copiously. How Norman believed in Beatrix when no one else did, and helped her to fly. Of course I saw Steve, who even wanted me to keep speaking when he was sick. But I also saw You, Lord. You love the ones Your hands have made and want them to fly.

 

When Norman “taught her how to dance” I wept again, for it was so much bigger than dancing literally. Even in this time of sorrow, You are, indeed, teaching me to dance. You want me to put my hand in Yours and let the music fill my heart.

 

Their tender parting scene at the train station. He was wearing a trench-coat (of course!) and he kisses her for the first time. Parting scenes always move me. My parting for the last time with my father, my mother – and of course, with Steve. “Such sweet sorrow,” as Shakespeare said.

 

And when Norman dies young, of course, that did me in. Yet Beatrix carried on, and life still had meaning, because she knew “he was right behind her.” I know Steve is “right behind me,” but even more, You are there.

 

Thank You, Lord – for this picture of Your love.

 

Icebreaker

1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?)

2. Do you have any comments on the above?

 

BIBLE STUDY

In the romances of the Old Testament in Ruth, Song of Songs, and Hosea, this word “kanaph”) appears when the groom or groom-to-be covers his bride. Martin French did this painting of the “Kinsman-Redeemer” for Forever in Love to portray Hosea covering Gomer when she was ashamed and being sold on the auction block.

 

The passage in Hosea 3 is a bit cryptic and challenging, but basically what has happened is that Gomer has run after her other lovers and they are selling her on the auction block, and Hosea buys her back. He is her “Redeemer” for a Redeemer is One who pays a price to rescue another.

1. Read Hosea 3:1-2

A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?

B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail?

C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?

D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls?


2. Another “kinsman-redeemer” is Boaz in the book of Ruth. The Hebrew word “kanaph” appears here and may be translated corner of garment, wing, or garment. It is another challenging passage, but so full of tenderness. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it?

3. Watch the beginning of the last video where I talk about “The Covering” to the women in prison. Click here and watch for about five minutes, until I get to the “Court Date.” Write down what you learn: Link

Our own dear Joyce and another silent blogger each sent me this wonderful picture of Psalm 91:4 where the word “kanaph” is translated “wings.”

Under His wings you will find refuge

 

4. Read Psalm 91:1-4 and write down the promises. Comment on this word picture as well and what it means to you.

5. Some have interpreted these promises to mean no trouble will come to the believer. How does the close of the psalm, Psalm 91:14-16 clarify this?

6. The concept can also be found in the phrase “hiding place” which is in Psalm 32:6-7. Meditate on this and find the phrases that comfort you and calm you.

You are my hiding place — you always fill my heart with songs of deliverance

7. One of my favorite songs of Sara Groves is based on the above passage and is called Hiding Place. It’s actually fairly easy to learn and to sing. You can listen to it on U-Tube by clicking here: Link

I’d like you to meditate on four phrases in her song and think about how you could apply them to your life:

A. Early when the day is new, before the stirring

B. I will come and talk to you and confess the ways I’m broken (Psalm 32:3)

C. And recall the words You’ve spoken

D. And to try to comprehend the love you have for me (Psalm 32:6-7)

8. How has God shown His love to you recently? List at least three ways.

Part II. Listen to Midday Connection and Comment Here: Updated Direct Link

Part III.Listen to Keller

He has so many good messages on The Bridegroom — here are two, but they are not free. Choose one of these if possible, listen, and comment: Link

Extra Credit Fun: Watch Miss Potter and find spiritual parallels and list them here. (And if you rent it, be sure you hear the extra song by Kate Medula on the disc. Oh!) Or one of the Pride and Prejudice movies — for Austin’s lines are amazing. What spiritual parallels do you see?

PART IV (Challenge and Optional) Ezekiel 16:1-22 is a similar portrait to Hosea in a nutshell.

9. Read it carefully — find the tenderness, the covering, and how she responded to the Lord. What do you see here?

OH — SUSAN REMEMBERED REMBRANDT’S THE PRODIGAL — SO I ADDED IT LATE — NOUWEN SAYS, “SEE HOW THE FATHER’S CLOAK ALMOST LOOKS LIKE WINGS?”

10. What is your take-a-way from this whole week?

 

 

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329 comments

  1. 1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?) to be honest, i dont watch romantic movies, becasue i have so much trouble with my purity.

    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make? The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail? that he will still love us even when we fail.

    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach? that it is not gold or silver that we were redeemed but with the precious blood of Christ a lamb without blemish or defect.

    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls? that he is a redeemer and that he loves us no matter what.

  2. This will be a wonderful week of study!

    I am singing Psalm 91 this morning, so I am going to re-read it this morning and pray it. He is my refuge and He has me under his wings, like that wonderful bird picture above, and the picture of Hosea covering Gomer-He is mighty and tender and He is Holy Adonai-He is my master and owner.

    1. While praying Psalm 91 just now, I stopped and listened..I am sure God came to me, he said, “sing to me, Rebecca, I delight in you.”-He said my name! I am taking this with me. God has strengthened me this morning!

      1. That;s so great Rebecca praise the Lord!

      2. OH Rebecca I love that! God did the same for me today in teaching. He is so good. Several came to me and said how blessed they are and I can just give credit to God. He is so amazing. Just being obedient to Him. Not considering anyone a God but Him. Love it!

        1. Yes, Angela, Isn’t He awesome! How He takes the focus off of ourselves and onto Him. We are standing up as witness to Him-we are His hands and feet and we are just proclaiming Him to others. How could we NOT or even hesitate to after what He has done for us? 🙂

        2. So proud of both of you sisters!

        1. OH thanks my sweet sisters!! Dee, I won’t ever forget how He spoke to me this morning. It was so direct-so simple.

          I have to calm myself down emotionally here, but PRAISE GOD!! I will remember what he is doing in my heart in this area, and how He has come to me like the Spring rain and recently like a huge wave. 🙂 Last time I sang he brought me out of my cocoon, and this morning it was the most freeing, worshipful time I ever got to share with the body because he completely freed me! I flew, singing under His wings!

          Oh, and I am normally afraid to talk, but the W.T. leader asked me to say something-real quick, so I did..WHY? Because how could I not??:-) HE delights in me! How can I not stand up for Him and love Him back with this song-Jesus hung on a cross for me, naked, humiliated for me. HOW CAN I NOT SING FOR HIM, How can I NOT stand up and proclaim His goodness, His love for all of us-So I read the first part of Psalm 91 and shared with the congregation He deeply loves them and wants them to come to Him and hide in the shelter of His wings. After ward God confirmed and encouraged me via a verse my friend gave me- Psalm 63:7-

          “for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” (ESV)

          This is what I did! I look forward to singing for Him again, soon. I love singing for Him.

          Oh and Anne had asked me a while back if I would video tape it for you all. I was a little nervous that it would distract from worship, but my husband’s friend, who is experienced and very creative with video’s did video tape it. I am not sure how it turned out or when he will be done with it. If Dee says it is o.k. and it won’t distract from our study, I would be more than happy to share it on here with you all, or could just send it via private e-mail. 🙂

        2. Rebecca–this made me teary to read!! Oh I am so rejoicing with you for what He has done–as Dee’s post said above to the Lord we can say about you here-“You love the ones Your hands have made and want them to fly.”
          PLEASE email me the video–I want to see you in flight 😉

        3. Elizabeth, You are so sweet, and this endeared me toward you even more! You are a blessing to me!

        4. Rebecca, this is so wonderful! Victory! I am happy for you and also for myself and the rest of us because I know that God will also bring us to victory.

        5. Anne, He will!

          He wants us to love him back and one way to love him is to trust him, but I have found I can’t really trust him unless I abandon myself to him. At least with me, abandoning myself is born out of a struggle or through suffering. This time, he intervened and his overwhelming love for me in that he delights in me melted my heart and he drew me into his arms. I just couldn’t resist him.

          I thank God for Dee’s bible studies this past year. He rescued me through them, and has brought me in this place of freedom now. He is also giving me His love and compassion for others, as I have been challenged by you all.

        6. Rebecca, you have been blessed with a very special talent from God. I rejoice in God’s gift for you in many ways, not just your singing. You bring joy to us all. Thank you and I want to see the video so bad!

        7. I would love to see and hear you sing, Rebecca!

        8. I love how we can rejoice together! I too want to see the video of you flying. 🙂 So thankful. We serve and our loved by an amazing God!

        9. Wonderful, dear Rebecca! Yes, put me down to watch you fly!

    2. Praying for you sweet Rebecca!

  3. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it? to cover her.

    3. Watch the beginning of the last video where I talk about “The Covering” to the women in prison. Click here and watch for about five minutes, until I get to the “Court Date.” I learned that JESUS IS OUR KINGSMAN REDEEMER! and that he can cover us and shelter us with him we are safe

  4. 4. Read Psalm 91:1-4 and write down the promises. Comment on this word picture as well and what it means to you.

    1.He will save you
    2. He will cover you with his feathers
    3. His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

    I really like this picture of the baby birds being sheltered by their mama.. i need to think the same way about Jesus he will keep me safe i can hide under his wing, he is my shelter. But i need to dwell there as well, which i have been having a hard time doing.

    5. Some have interpreted these promises to mean no trouble will come to the believer. How does the close of the psalm, Psalm 91:14-16 clarify this?

    “Because he[a] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
    15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
    16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

  5. 6. The concept can also be found in the phrase “hiding place” which is in Psalm 32:6-7. Meditate on this and find the phrases that comfort you and calm you. all of verse 7:

    You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

  6. Wonderful opening Dee. For some reason the one of the mother bird and her chicks is the one that brings me to tears. I have such a long way to go to even find my tears much less understand them. But I am starting to cry them.

    1. You have such a lovely, sweet heart, Anne

  7. Icebreaker.
    1- I LOVE Pride and Prejudice. I think I like how the main guy loves her by doing all these behind the scene things…He pays the bribe to protect their families reputation to the soldier though it was an enemy of his own family. He corrects the things he assumed incorrectly. He comes for her. He does not give up on her. They are a perfect fit but he pursues her even through all the misunderstandings and difficulties. It is beautiful.

    2-Above I was just reading through tears. Oh how beautiful your marriage to Steve represented Ephesians 5 well. I want this with my husband as well. I often find my heart not as tender toward him in the day in and out. However, I do recall seeing my man in public before he saw me and my heart skipping a beat. I know of our great love for one another it is just lost in the mundane I think. I wish we lived Ephesians 5 daily. I am praying and asking God to move my heart in this way. My husband is such a great man and took great care of me when I was sick. He is laid up now for doing hard work and his back in in such pain. I find myself being annoyed. I hate that. I need to love Him well and serve Him well in this. Even if I think he should have known to stop. He forgets he is older now.

  8. Oh and being there for them to fly…That was good too. Really stood out to me. Even in all my insecurities God wants me to fly in what He has given me for His glory. Oh to really believe and remember this.

  9. A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?
    Love your wife again eventhough she commits adultery with another lover. It illustrates God still loves Israel So He bought her back
    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail? He will still love us and buy us back.

    One of the Hebrew words for love:act of being a friend

    a) lover (participle)

    b) friend (participle)

    It would be hard to be a friend after the deep betrayal.

    Interesting too I read in commentary that Hosea did not have to buy his own wife back. Legally she is his. SO He did it in love he went the extra mile to love the unlovable. Like Christ did for us. Very cool.

  10. God is so faithful. I have just finished last weeks study, listening to Dee on Midday Connection and Tim Keller’s sermon on tears. I had been putting off doing the study last week, with the excuse I was going to be out of town for a few days and couldn’t do it then anyway. To be honest, I didn’t want to face any emotion the study would bring out, and certainly not tears. And now, after listening to the sermon on trusting God with tears, I have been blessed and encouraged to face the emotions and to trust God with them. Thank you all for your comments and wisdom you shared in last week’s study, they have been a blessing to me.

  11. A. Early when the day is new, before the stirring. This means to me that i should be doing my quiet time before i do anything else.. like facbook etc.. and pour out my heart to him…

    B. I will come and talk to you and confess the ways I’m broken (Psalm 32:3) talk to him, cry out to him and tell him how you really feel.

    C. And recall the words You’ve spoken

    D. And to try to comprehend the love you have for me (Psalm 32:6-7)this one is really hard for me.. I do have a hard time comprehending how much God really loves me, but he is my hiding place.

  12. 8. How has God shown His love to you recently? List at least three ways.

    1. He has provided for me finacially
    2. He told me that the best is yet to come( this was a few months ago when i was afriad of the rapture.)
    3. He has given me song/scripture at just the right time that i needed it.

  13. love this…

  14. 1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?)
    Always thought “UP” was a very romantic movie, probably because of the devotion the husband had for the wife, and how their love had grown through the years. Ah yes, this parallels the devotion that Christ has for us, and how our love for Christ can grow in life as a results of the experiences we have with him.
    2. Do you have any comments on the above?
    Love the image of being protected under the wings of our Savior! To know that He loves the ones he made and wants them to fly is overwhelming to me, knowing how fragile I feel right now. Only God can give me the strength for each day. I like how you described it as putting your hand in Gods and letting him teach you how to dance and let the music fill your heart.

    1. UP always makes me cry. I loved their devotion as well. What a great example.

  15. 1. Read Hosea 3:1-2
    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make? God tells Hosea to go and love his wife, despite her unfaithfulness, just as God continued to love the Israelites even as they showed devotion to other Gods and pagan rituals.
    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail? God wants me to know that he will always love me, he will never forsake me. His love will be like that of a husband, a love that covers me AND my sin.
    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?
    We have been redeemed by the blood of Christ.
    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls? We must tell ourselves that Christ’s sacrifice covers all sin, past, present and future – including all of our failures. God is a just God, yet he has accepted Christ’s sacrifice once and for all to cover our sin. There is nothing that we can do to cause God to forsake us. Christ was forsaken on the cross so that we would never be forsaken.

  16. 2. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it? Ruth asks Boaz to take her hand in marriage, to be her kinsman-redeemer.

    3. Watch the beginning of the last video where I talk about “The Covering” to the women in prison. Write down what you learn.
    Jesus is our kinsman redeemer, he has covered our sin so that we are acceptable to God.

    4. Read Psalm 91:1-4 and write down the promises. Comment on this word picture as well and what it means to you.
    The promises: whoever dwells in the shelter of the almighty will rest in his shadow; he will save you; you will find refuge under his wings; he will cover me, he will be my shield and my defense.

    5. How does the close of the psalm, Psalm 91:14-16 clarify this? God promises to be with us in trouble.

    6. The concept can also be found in the phrase “hiding place” which is in Psalm 32:6-7. Meditate on this and find the phrases that comfort you and calm you.
    The rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You will protect me from trouble, you will surround me with songs of deliverance. Found courage and comfort in the song “Let the waters rise” by Mikeschair during my husband’s fight with cancer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2RP6DRVWpU

    7. One of my favorite songs of Sara Groves is based on the above passage and is called Hiding Place. It’s actually fairly easy to learn and to sing. You can listen to it on U-Tube by clicking here: Link
    I’d like you to meditate on four phrases in her song and think about how you could apply them to your life:
    A. Early when the day is new, before the stirring – before the chaos of the day has begun, first thing in the morning
    B. I will come and talk to you and confess the ways I’m broken (Psalm 32:3) I will spend time with my God, confessing my sin.
    C. And recall the words You’ve spoken – I will speak your promises to my soul, I will remember your words.
    D. And to try to comprehend the love you have for me (Psalm 32:6-7) – and know that you love me with an unfathomable love.

    8. How has God shown His love to you recently? List at least three ways.
    He has shown me that I am to run to Him with my tears, that I am to trust him with all of my emotions. He is safe.
    He has provided his love and comfort through friends.
    He has been faithful in teaching me through his word, in pressing me to be diligent in the study of his word, and providing a mentor to encourage me in continuing to seek God’s wisdom through his word.

  17. Romantic movies? Well, I don’t really watch many movies, but my favorite is White Christmas. I suppose the love story is how they end up together even when they try to stay away, and things continue to happen to throw them together again despite their separation.

    How does this relate to Jesus? I suppose once you are caught by Him, He continues to tug on your heart through all your trials in life. It is difficult to let Him go even when you feel like He doesn’t seem near to you.

  18. ICEBREAKER

    1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ)?

    The Sound of Music. The specific scene that melts my heart is where Maria, during a ball, is out on the terrace dancing with one of the von Trapp children; a young boy. Captain von Trapp comes out and cuts-in on their dance, and he and Maria begin to dance.
    This is none of the erotic, sexy, indecent dancing we see too much of today – this is graceful, elegant, beautiful dancing as a pair – each one in step with the other.
    When they reach a point where they are close and looking into each other’s eyes, suddenly a look comes over Maria’s face and she can’t remember the next step. The child comments that her face is quite red! A look had come over the Captain’s face as well. They are falling in love.

    The Captain is a reflection of Christ – Jesus, our Bridegroom, is a gracious Gentleman. When our hearts are in tune with Him, I imagine the graceful dance with Him.

    2. Do you have any comments on the above?

    I love this part: “We’d been married 25 years but my heart still did flip flops to see him”. What a beautiful memory, and what a testimony to your love for each other!

  19. I love romantic movies, but don’t get to watch many. But I loved “Message in a bottle”. He (Kevin Cosner) was so heartbroken when his wife died, he thought he could never love again, and just when he finally discovered he could, he died. It was heartbreaking. It makes me think of how Jesus is waiting for me to come to him, one day. He is our only true, real love, that gives us joy and happiness. This life is just a stepping stone to him.

    Dear Dee, Have a wonderful birthday!!!! It’s your birthday now! Thank you God for sending Dee to us! HAPPY BIRTHDAY;)

    1. Thankyou Joyce for reminding me to –

      WISH DEE A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY – I HOPE YOU HAVE A VERY SPECIAL DAY AND KNOW HOW SPECIAL AND LOVED YOU ARE BY ALL OF US HERE!

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEE!

      1. YES! Happy birthday to you!!!

  20. 1. Read Hosea 3:1-2.

    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?

    God tells Hosea to go and love his wife again, even as she is committing adultery again. This will illustrate how God loves His people, the Israelites, even while they run after other gods.

    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail?

    God wants me to hear that He will never give up on me. “God demonstrates His love toward us in that WHILE we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”! I know verses like this are not meant to make me have a casual attitude about sin. But often I wonder why God just wouldn’t want to be done with me. This story pictures a love that defies understanding: how could a man look upon his wife in bed with another man and say, I love you and I want you back?
    God’s love is unending and unfailing and He wants me to return to Him.

    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?

    Hosea bought Gomer back off of the auction block. God redeemed me (bought me back) but not with money, but with the blood of His Son, Jesus.
    Peter says that silver and gold are perishable things, but he calls the blood of Jesus precious, and implies that what His blood does for the ransomed sinner is imperishable; it lasts forever.

  21. D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls?

    Oh I know the pain of regret – the why didn’t I do…. or why didn’t I say…. or it’s all my fault…. or if only I had done….
    The truth for my soul must be to continually go back to the Cross and think about what Jesus was doing there. And why was He on that Cross? I love a book by Max Lucado called He Chose the Nails. He writes how Jesus stretched out His arms on the Cross and allowed the nails because He saw “the list” of my sins. As His blood flowed, my list was obliterated.

  22. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. psalm 118:24

    Happy Birthday Dee–what a GIFT you are to us all!

    1. Amen! Lord I pray that you will bless Dee this day with Your presence and understanding of just how precious she is to you.

      1. Amen, Happy birthday and love to you, dear Dee!

    2. Happy Birthday!

  23. 1. What is your favorite romantic movie and why?

    It’s a toss up between Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind. In Pride and Prejudice I loved Elizabeth’s personality and how Darcy melted Elizabeth’s heart despite her prejudice of him. I also loved Jane and Elizabeth’s relationship as sisters. Jane, the more reasonable, quiet, contemplative one-I loved that about her. The contrast of the mutual affection her and bingly had for one another, how easy it was, yet with Elizabeth and Darcy, Elizabeth had to be wooed over time.

    Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?)

    Yes, with Elizabeth I can see how Darcy wooed her and kept after her-like Jesus does to us. Toward the end Elizabeth couldn’t resist him anymore.

    2. Do you have any comments on the above?

    I loved all of it, but this stuck out to me: “Even in this time of sorrow, You are, indeed, teaching me to dance. You want me to put my hand in Yours and let the music fill my heart.”

    Also, It melted my heart to hear the trench coat story. Dee’s longing for the presence of Steve. Steve’s essence, was still lingering on his trench coat, the memories, the covering-the safety and fragrance of Steve all around Dee when she put it on. How that reminds me of our relationship with Jesus-Clinging to His coat of memories of how He has rescued us over and over. His fragrance and essence ruminates in Scripture for He is the word-As Rich Mullins put it, “Paul says that Scripture is God’s breath so let’s breathe it in as deeply as possible.” I see Dee doing that with Steve’s coat. What a great example!

  24. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEE!! You are such a gift to all of us, we are so thankful for you! Your love for Jesus, your true humility, your honest heart, and God’s glory is all over you. He has worked through you to melt our hearts and bring us closer to Him. Thank you Lord for Dee, and for her sacrificial example of you. How you have moved in her heart with compassion toward the oppressed through IJM, how she is so willing to go and make disciples. We thank you for Dee’s heart and for bringing us here together in fellowship to learn from her.

  25. Dee,

    I tried to do the challenge question but i am not understanding the passage i have read it twice.. but i did try..

  26. Happy birthday Dee! Thank you for this Bible study. Thank you for making the study a tactile one where we have reading, songs to listen to, and lectures to watch. I appreciate your hard work! Have a fantastic day 🙂

  27. 8. How have you seen Gods’ love lately?

    In my sweet 14 year old son who knows our family issues well (with our daughter) and loves me dearly. He knows exactly what to say at the right time.

    In my kind, caring sister-in-law who takes care of my mother in her old age with cancer. She loves all beings, animal and human alike and it is a blessing to me.

    In my friend, Laura, who never judges and always listens, and loves you regardless.

    1. Love these things Laura!!

  28. C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach? Jesus blood paid our ransom to save us from an empty life.

    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls? Jesus paid it all. Period. There is now no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus.

    2. Another “kinsman-redeemer” is Boaz in the book of Ruth. The Hebrew word “kanaph” appears here and may be translated corner of garment, wing, or garment. It is another challenging passage, but so full of tenderness. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it? This needs to go to v. 9 to hear her response…She wants him to spread the corner of the covering over her. She is asking him to protect her by marrying her. He is the Kinsmen Redeemer. She needs to be redeemed because her husband has died. There is no protection in those days for widows that is why the kinsmen redeemer law was in place and how beautiful it foreshadows the coming of Christ!! Love it.

  29. Love the explanation of Boaz and Ruth here. And the Kinsmen Redeemer relation. Savior, protector. How we have to go to HIM and say cover me…So good. I also love the picture provided of the bird. Oh how beautiful His covering.

  30. Good morning, I’m leaving MN tomorrow but then an unexpected detour (work related) to Texas for a couuple days. Hoping to be able to jump into this weeks lesson anyway. I have missed you all.

    1. Praying your trip is well Terri!! And that God will provide time for you to participate.

    2. Terri, we have missed you too! Hopefully you will be able to jump in this week!

  31. Here is the video of the song. I think the sound was better live, and usually on video it isn’t the best, but here you go!

    http://vimeo.com/27992059

    1. Rebecca that was so beautiful! Praise His name!

    2. Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    3. Rebecca, Thank you so much for sharing your video. It was beautiful as are you. And the video is so precious to us because we know from where God has brought you. The fear I mean.

    4. Rebecca, that was truly beautiful and I could tell it really came from your heart!

    5. I loved it! so precious! Beautiful to see you praising the Papai (Father)! your voice is so beautiful-the voice of your heart too!God bless you, dear Rebecca! Pollyanna

      1. Hi Pollyanna, We miss you! 🙁 Wish you could comment more!! So glad God has given you a ministry with women there and I will be praying for you my sweet sister!! Love you!

    6. FLY REBECCA FLY!!! Beautiful song.

  32. Great Job Rebecca! what a blessing this song was to me! Thank you!

  33. Oh Rebecca–I have no words. I am just SO moved by your voice! I started playing it and my 4 yr old heard from the other room, put down his blocks mid-building and said “can I listen to her?” he crawled on my lap and we were both mesmerized. His exact words when you finished: “She’s singing about God. Why can we not go to her church and hear her again?”

    Thank you for this gift today–what a blessing this is!

    1. Rebecca–just had my musical (I’m not–but can appreciate those who are!) husband listen–he was AMAZED–said you sounded like Sara Groves 😉
      Please be encouraged by all of us, your church too–He has given you a gift to share, oh how it blesses us. No wonder Satan tries to trip you up with fear!

      1. Elizabeth, This just made my day, Wow..We do need to hear how our ministries bless others-it is such an encouragement!

  34. So excited after reading this!
    I often share on FaceBook with my friends ( I am careful who I have on my wall): I shared a passage from Job 19:25 about how Job trusted in His Redeemer even when his friends and family abandoned him. I explained about the “kinsman-redeemer” relationships in the Old Testament, and how Jesus is our “kinsman-redeemer”!
    Now I am going back to Hosea to learn another type!
    Love these lessons..thank you Dee!

    1. Well Facebook tipped us off I think knowing your bday! I posted a bigger words blessing on your wall. 😉 Will def pray this for you. It is def an honor to bring you before the Father. You have been such a blessing to so many. He is so good.

    2. Have a blessed birthday, Dee. Thanks for giving us a specific way to pray for you today.

    3. Praying for you and with you Dee–you are such a humble servant and God uses that to encourage me so much.

      I know I’m the only non-facebooker 🙂 but I found your birthday in the entry in chapter 4 of God of All Comfort. I hurt more for you as I read how Steve got a blood clot and needed to go to the hospital while you were celebrating your birthday with friends. But you turn to them and said “pray!” and talked to your soul to be still, though you said it was not still…I am so thankful for the humble, honest, real example of you–how in your greatest storm–you are always turning eyes and soul to Him.

    4. OH Dee, how great that Sally was there in Milwaukee! God has such a tender heart for you.

      Yes, I will pray for you in this- Lord, thank you that you are such a tender and romantic God-you know Dee’s frame and you have been so tender and loving to her, and it is a blessing to hear she has a sense of your tender blessings today, and you have so blessed her. Thank you Lord, that you love us in so many ways and we do love your surprises! Thank you for blessing Dee with Sally today.
      Lord, quicken Dee’s heart during her times with you-help her to stop and listen to you-give her more opportunities to dialogue with you Lord, and Lord help her to be willing to be still during her times with you. Thank you for bringing Dee into this world and into our lives, and into the lives of so many women around the world as she has impacted us in drawing closer to you. Thank you for making her life a fragrance that is daily spilling onto us. We love you Lord Jesus.

      1. Amen!

  35. All I can say is Wow, Rebecca! How you could ever be afraid to share that gift is beyond me. As Dee said when a singer is worshipping while she is singing, it moves us all to worship. It was so uplifting! Thank you soooo much for sharing it with us.

    1. Dawn, Thanks so much! It blesses me so much to hear it moved you to worship. I was wondering if because the sound on the video isn’t as good as it was live if that would be a distraction from the worship, but it sounds like it wasn’t. 🙂

  36. Dee, I am not currently in this study, but I can see that I have missed so much. I just wanted you to know that my heart is so greatly touched by the description of the great and deep love that you shared with Steve. You have been enormously blessed to have experienced such a love. What woman would not desire to be loved that way? Thank you for sharing the excerpts from your journal. The tenderness and the sorrow speak to my heart. I appreciate your wisdom and your gift of teaching. Thank you.

  37. Happy Birthday Dee,
    I hope this year brings abundant blessings.

  38. Dee, I like to ask God to give me a gift that only He can give on my birthday and anniversary so I am praying God gives you a gift today too and that you will know it is Him. Be on the lookout! One year it was the most beautiful sky in my favorite color.
    Rebecca, I agree with Elizabeth’s 4 yr old. I want to come to your church too and hear you sing. 🙂 Great!

      1. Oh, that’s wonderful! I’m so happy you had such a great birthday!

  39. Icebreaker
    1.What is your favorite romantic movie and why? Can you see a parable in it (a reflection of Christ?)

    I might come back to this—I always go for the heavy ones like Life is Beautiful and Shadowlands…I think I like that they are not neat packages, but feel real and I see the transforming power of love in them…but am still thinking of something more romantic/light/less serious! 😉

    One movie we watched recently isn’t really romantic, but I keep coming back to it in my mind after reading this week’s post. It was an independent, foreign film called A Shine of Rainbows. It is set in Ireland—this couple adopts a small boy from an orphanage—a boy who has been passed over many times, and is taunted and made fun of by the other kids. I’d caution if you see it, there are some “mystical” parts of the movie, but the main theme I got was the transforming power of love in this boy’s life. I relate it to how by the world’s standards, I can often feel forgettable, unnoticeable, unimportant…but Christ…came into the dirty old orphanage we were all in, was not deterred by our weakness or lacking qualities, but said “I want to adopt them all!”—and we are transformed from lowly, insecure, lost children…to children of the King.

    2. Do you have any comments on the above?
    I love the trench coat story with Steve. It exposes his tender, selfless heart, the way he protected and cared for Dee’s needs-anticipating them before she spoke them. I like thinking about how Christ is this way with me. I asked Him yesterday to remind me of the ways He has opened His trench coat to me—and I feel flooded with thoughts. Sometimes it’s the daily things He protects me from—like that really old Amy Grant song that says “a reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way” kind of stuff. Other times I look back and I see His shield around me, protecting me from physical, and emotional, harm. When I remember situations I haven’t wanted to go into or times I have been paralyzed with fear…and I see how He was there, His coat on my shoulders, protecting me.

    And I love the picture of the birds—I want to be that one on the right of the picture—eyes shut, such peace in the trust that I don’t need to look!

  40. My husband and I just returned from the surgeon about his shoulder and the news was not good. He has a massive rotator cuff tear that can’t be repaired because the muscles have already atrophied. Apparently it has been on the verge of going for a long time. The only hope she could give us is a joint replacement that is rather new. He is very upset but I can’t help seeing God’s faithful care in so many ways. It happened at work so even if workmans comp won’t cover the surgery, he at least has income. The nurse from the labor board went with us to the appt and we got to know her very well as we waited over 2hrs past our appt time. She talked nonstop the whole time which sometimes tires me but seemed to help Fred. Anyway, I think she is also a blessing from the Lord. She knows her job, she likes her job and she is very assertive. So next we go to the doctor who does this reverse shoulder replacement. Fred could really use some prayer because he is a real worrier and he hates surgery (who doesn’t, but his feelings are excessive).

    1. Lord, I lift up Fred to you right now. I pray You will cover him with Your wings as that bird in the picture above. I pray You will grant him Your peace, and please ease his pain. I ask that You give the doctors wisdom, that You will go before them in this and be glorified through this trial Lord. In Your Name I pray~

    2. Anne, Praying for your husband…I am so sorry.

    3. Anne, I am so sorry to hear about Fred. (long distance hugs!) 🙁

      Lord, We thank you with how you have faithfully provided for and cared for Fred. We thank you for Anne and what a blessing she is to us. Lord, help Fred to trust you through this and even if he is struggling to do so, Lord help him to see you are walking through this anxious time with him. We thank you Lord that you know Fred’s frame so well, and you know every anxious thought, and we ask you would quicken him to hear you and that you would still his soul. We pray this in Jesus precious and holy name, Amen.

      1. Anne,

        Praying for Fred… so sorry {Hugs}

    4. Oh Anne. Praying.

    5. I’ll be praying for Fred as well that the Lord will give him a calm assurance of His precence in the surgery room!

    6. Sorry for this news. God of peace draw Fred close and encourage him to trust in you and sense your presence and love.

      1. Amen

    7. Oh all of you have blessed me more than I can express. I just sat down to the computer for the first time today and read all of these prayers first thing on my email. I am so blessed in all of you. I feel as if I am in prayer meeting with every one of you praying over me. Thank you so much. Fred is holding up so well. While I was at work today he went to his primary care who put him on insulin. This is what he has been fighting and dreading for years. Yet he took it with resolve and strength. I know it is your prayers because I have not yet called to any others. Thank you, with my whole heart.

      1. Anne
        I’ll be praying also.

        1. Tammy, we have missed you. How are you doing? Thanks for praying.

  41. I loved all the movies listed but I do not retain movies for some reason. Nice thing is I enjoy them the second time around that way.
    The story of Steve’s trench coat is my absolute favorite in the book. I am a hopeless romantic. Rose colored glasses and all.

    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make? Go get your wife, Gomer, the adulteress, back and love her. Compares it to the love He has for the children of Israel.

    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail? God’s love is not dependent on my faithfulness.

    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach? I am redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus.

    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls? That the devil is a liar and go back as Keller says, to the gospel, the good news that Jesus paid it all once and for all. When I fail He is gently calling me back to Himself into relationship.

  42. 1. Read Hosea 3:1-2

    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?
    God tells Hosea to love his wife again, even though another man loves her-and she is an adultress.

    He makes the comparison of her being an adultress to the Israelites’ idolatry, and tells Hosea to love her like he loved the Idolatrous Israelites.

    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail?

    He WILL rescue us! He will redeem us!

    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?

    That Jesus redeemed us with his blood-we were bought with the price of His blood that paid for all our sins once and for all.

    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls?

    In regard to grief, even though I haven’t experienced it yet, In reading my precious sisters’ comments here on this blog and in reading Dee’s book, there is guilt that seems to wash over us at a certain point when we grieve. I think the truth to speak to our souls is this-to memorize this passage in Hosea and in 1 Peter would be a great start in speaking truth to our souls, and also in dialoguing this passage with the Lord.

  43. Oh, I wanted to add to the above that when I read question 1 D. yesterday for some reason the Holy Spirit stirred in me. It wasn’t anything ‘grand’ but a simple truth God is reminding me of. Even though I haven’t grieved, it is my natural bend to feel guilty every time I fail and Satan’s natural bend to hammer me with all my failures, which when you think about it can be just about every day! 🙂 So, speaking this truth to my soul will really keep my eyes focused on the truth!

    2. Another “kinsman-redeemer” is Boaz in the book of Ruth. The Hebrew word “kanaph” appears here and may be translated corner of garment, wing, or garment. It is another challenging passage, but so full of tenderness. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it?

    She asked him to spread the corner of his garment over her. Wow..

  44. 3. I love watching these videos. These women are so precious, you can see so much about the inside written on their expressions, what a privilege it must be to minister to them, Dee.

    I really love the way Dee brings truth to light in such an understandable way. Like when she taught about what kinsman means-he is related to our family, then related it to Jesus who took on human flesh, and then redeemer-someone who pays a price for someone else. Boaz will give silver and gold but Jesus gave his blood. I loved the white cloth illustration-so clear. Even those of us who believe and know Him, forget what He has done for us as we struggle with guilt over sin or our failures. I think going back to the Gospel is crucial in fighting off the condemnation Satan throws at us.

    Last night, I reiterated to Isaac about sin, as he had a sin struggle. I said something I shouldn’t have and his sweet tender heart came to me and said with tears, ‘mom did you mean what you said?’ I was so wrong. I saw how I hurt his heart, so I told him i was wrong and to forgive me, and God opened a huge door. It was a LONG night last night, but so worth it. I had the opportunity to reiterate what God has shown me this past year through this study to Isaac, who was VERY VERY open to hearing. I saw it on his face. When I was done reiterating how Jesus covered his sins on the cross, I told him something I heard Dee say a while ago when she said, “Jesus had everything except you, so he wrapped himself in flesh, came down here and died so he could have you.” I went into detail of the punishment he took for Isaac’s sins so he could have Isaac. Isaac looked at me and said, “for me? wow..he grew teary eyed again. I can’t believe Jesus did that for me.” Elijah jumps in, “Gosh Isaac, I thought you were already a Christian. I thought you knew that already.” 😉 I told Eli that the Gospel is about getting in, but it is also about our whole walk-the A-Z of our Christian life, and we must go back to the Gospel and remember and apply it to our lives as we walk along the way.

    When Isaac and I were done, he said with tears, “Mom, I have been missing God. I haven’t talked to him in a while and I want to start having quiet times.” -OH, this moves my heart with such Joy to see God working in Isaac.

    I have to tell you my faith was terribly weak when Isaac was diagnosed with Autism..I FEARED, “Lord, how will he ever understand the Gospel?!? What if he never does???” I doubted God, but He chose Isaac before he was born. 🙂

    God is so good!! I have two quiet time books I got the boys and had a hard time getting them started. They are great. They go by each day and and are short paragraphs with scripture to look up, then a memory verse once a week. Their times should only take ten minutes to start. If God brings it to mind, please pray with me for them. Isaac’s temperment is flagmatic. He struggles with discipline of any kind, so I know not to throw a lot at him, but to take it slowly step by step, line upon line, precept upon precept.

    1. This is precious Rebecca–so encouraging as a Mom and such a good reminder for me of how the spirit works in them–we often don’t see it at first, but He is there.
      Lord, thank You for this time Rebecca had and I pray You will continue to draw Eli and Isaac to You, breaking through the barriers, that they may grow in their faith and fall deeper in love with You.

    2. Rebecca, I loved this: “I have to tell you my faith was terribly weak when Isaac was diagnosed with Autism..I FEARED, “Lord, how will he ever understand the Gospel?!? What if he never does???” I doubted God, but He chose Isaac before he was born. :-)”

      I feared the same thing for Kendra for years, now she is the one to remind me each night before we go to bed, to pray and ask what to pray about sometimes…maybe just little things, but God understands! She does love God:) And I know Isaac does and will show it more as he grows up. Like you said, God chose them before they were born!

      1. Joyce, wow, that is beautiful. Such tender hearts you both have.

  45. 1. Read Hosea 3:1-2
    A. What does God tell Hosea to do and what comparison does He make?
    Go show your love to your wife again, even though she has had other lovers. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites even though they turn to other gods.
    When I read it a second time, I noticed the “again”—it stressed to me the never failing persistence of His love—He comes back again and again, always faithful to His commitment to us.

    B. What message does God want you to hear in this story concerning how He will respond to us when we fail?
    Though I wander and stray, He remains faithful. My actions cannot change His character.

    On of my favorite memories in my early years of marriage was when my husband read Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers) aloud to me at night. I’m sure you’ve all read it, but this has made me want to get it out again—it is such a beautiful image of His pursuing, persistent love for us that will never give up!

    C. What does 1 Peter 1:18-19 teach?
    I was bought with the un-perishable blood of Christ. This struck me last night as I was studying–silver and gold change in value over time—but Christ death for me will never change in value, never perish, never fail to be enough.

    D. One of the hardest things to believe, and our doubts are fanned by the enemy, is that God is not punishing us for our failures. That has already been paid for. If we have regrets, and that often happens in grief, what truth must we speak to our souls?

    For me, regrets feel like whispers of Satan. I hate feeling regret, but sometimes they whisper lies in my mind. If I had gotten there sooner, if I had tried harder…did I make the wrong decision?
    I liked last week on Midday when Dee said “it’s not that we didn’t choose the right chemo”. It’s not about us and how my one decision thwarted God’s plan-I can’t do that—I’m not that powerful. God is Sovereign. And whatever is happening is not a result or punishment for my failures because there is NO OUTSTANDING DEBT to pay.

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you for these words, “It’s not about us and how my one decision thwarted God’s plan – I can’t do that – I’m not that powerful. God is Sovereign. And whatever is happening is not a result or punishment for my failures because there is NO OUTSTANDING DEBT to pay.”

      I struggle too with Satan’s whispers of accusation. I had a bad “mother guilt day” yesterday, going over all my failings as a mom. How selfish I was when my first child was born, because my needs suddenly came last; how impatient and bad-tempered I could be as a new mom. Thankfully, God has changed me into a much more patient person now. But when I see the particular sinful bents of each of my children, the enemy whispers that they are a result of what I did wrong. Once I heard a Christian speaker say that the sins of the parent will be magnified in the children.
      I need to be reminded that all my failures put together can’t avert God’s plan for my children’s lives.

      1. Susan–God just really used you to speak truth to me–I had a mom guilt day yesterday too (I have them often though!) But this was so good: “I need to be reminded that all my failures put together can’t avert God’s plan for my children’s lives”
        thank you. Somehow I give myself so much power–and my insecurities yesterday were screaming in many relationships–I wrote a sticky note reminder–it’s not about ME! It is Him, and He is greater..you just reminded me of that verse I have to find now…here it is:
        1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

        1. Thanks, Elizabeth! My guilt days occur quite often, too. Another killer for me is comparing myself to other moms.

        2. Elizabeth and Susan, you are wonderful mom’s. We are all human and make mistakes but like the verse above, He is greater in you, than in the world. Mothering is the hardest job ever and I admire all you mom’s:)

        3. Thank you sweet Joyce!

    1. Love that too, Dee!

  46. Praying for you, Dee, about your birthday prayer request to dialogue more with the Lord, to seize moments for prayer, and to pray through the psalms and be able to still yourself during your quiet times…

    Anne, praying for you and your husband about his shoulder, that was, I’m sure, very hard news to hear.

    Rebecca, praying for you and your boys, for God to grow and mature them spiritually. I think you’re an awesome mom! And I loved the video of you singing for Jesus!

      1. Dee is so right, Susan!

  47. Part II. Listen to Midday Connection and Comment Here. Well i was able to only listen for a few minutes and hopefully i will get a chance to listen to the rest when they get the listen tab up cause it isnt there. BUt anyway. The passage of scripture Zeph 3:16-17 Stood out to me. He will rejoice over you with singing, He is mighty to save, and he takes great delight in us! wow!

    1. Meg, I am amazed. I have a list of attributes of God with scripture references (6-12) for each one. Every morning I just pick an attribute and then a reference to praise the Lord for. This morning I picked joy and the reference was Zephaniah 3:17. Now I see that it stood out to you also this morning. God is speaking to us! I am going back, slow over that verse.

      1. wow, thats great Anne!

  48. 2. Read Ruth 3:6-8 and find what Ruth asks Boaz to do. What is it?

    Ruth asks Boaz to spread his covering over her, because he is a close relative, or redeemer.
    Until we studied this, I never quite understood what Ruth was asking Boaz to do for her, but it is making sense now.

    I keep looking at the Martin French painting from Hosea, and how Gomer stands there so self-protectively, head down, a look of absolute shame and misery about her. She can’t even look at Hosea. I’ve felt that kind of deep shame over my sins. But look how Hosea opens his arms and covers her. Ruth was asking for covering, for protection, for Boaz to marry her. Gomer needed to be restored, forgiven, to believe she was valuable enough to leave her life of sin. That painting is just so full of emotion. It reminds me of how in the painting of the PRodigal Son, the father in the painting pictures God.
    So in this painting, it pictures the Lord Jesus, who, even when we’re at our very worst, covered with the dirt and shame of our sin, doesn’t turn away in contempt or disgust, doesn’t walk away, but offers to spread His garment of righteousness over us.

    I so need to hear this truth today. I’ve been taught and always believed that my sin separates me from God and He will feel so far away. I know that I must confess my sin to Him to restore my relationship with Him, but this painting from Hosea suggests to me that when I’m at my worst, when I’ve fallen, and shamefully so, Jesus is so close – He moves in closer and wants to cover me. I don’t want to be “theologically incorrect” here – there are passages that say God hides His face, wont listen to prayer, turns His ear away if we harbor unconfessed sin. But Gomer didn’t make the first move here – she hadn’t even said she was sorry to Hosea; he came and got her and bought her back. Maybe it shows the mystery of our salvation – that God is always the Initiator who comes for us while we’re on the auction block; we can’t think a right thought about God unless He thinks about us first.
    Sorry to be pondering here; it’s hard to even put what I’m thinking into words.