… I will throw my net over them … Hosea 7:11 (NLT)
In the book of Hosea the Lord God laments over the sins of his people. In one place he says “Oh Israel and Judah what should I do with you?”[i] As a Mom this sounds very familiar to me. I think I have said that, or something very similar to my kids several times in frustration, “What am I going to do with you?”
Sometimes we look at the God of the Old Testament as different from Jesus. We only see the punishments, the judgments, the prophesies of enemies overtaking and dragging away. And that appears in Hosea. But, as I read chapters six and seven, I saw something else, very heartbreaking, but very wonderful and redeeming.
In the midst of God’s chastisements and listing of all Israel’s sins, he cries out three times from the pain and love of his heart.
I wanted so much to restore …
I wanted to heal …
I wanted to redeem …[ii]
But, they rejected God, they turned away to other gods, they rebelled. God grieves, “… no one cries out to me for help.”[iii] It all sounds so impossible, so despairing, so final.
But there in the middle there is this wonderful phrase. “I will throw my net over them.” This reminded me of Jesus on the shore calling to the disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
Jesus, the Great Fisherman, God in the flesh come to throw his net over us. God’s father-heart of mercy and love, God’s zeal to pursue and save us on full display. So, Jesus came-
To pursue and catch us in His net of Everlasting Love
Oh Lord God, I cry out to you! I want to turn back to you. I am lost and floundering in the waves. Forgive me of my sins. Throw your loving net over me. And bring me into your Presence.
Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. Hosea 6:1-3 (NASB)
[i] Hosea 6:4
[ii] Hosea 6:11, 7:1, 7:13
[iii] Hosea 7:7
For more about God’s loving net see Imprisoned
Image, Casting a fishing net, by vakibs, https://www.flickr.com/photos/vakibs/5395469892/