Do you remember the old Verizon Wireless commercials that had the "test guy" who would go to very remote parts of the country and he would ask the simple question, "Can you hear me now?" To show how reliable their network is. (I like the fact that he is now working for Sprint...lol!)
The catchy phrase caught on as potential customers seemed to relate to the struggle to connect and stay connected as they traveled. I don't know about you, but it drives me crazy when you hit a dead zone and have to deal with unreliable service.
At the risk of selling Him short, God has done the same. Even when the Kingdom had divided in two, He kept sending His message. He gave the people of the Northern Kingdom some 208 years to decide if they would "accept" or "reject" His call. He even sent His own "technicians" to get the message out. We call them prophets today.
Each of these prophets had a very unique job. Like Hosea for instance. God gave him a different kind of assignment than other prophets of his day. Hosea's life would be his message. He was to marry a prostitute name Gomer and love her. What an incredible and scary request.
This unique assignment was made even more difficult as Gomer left Hosea. She would conduct her 'business' with customers and all the time in her mind believing they were the ones supporting her. In reality though, it was Hosea who continued to care for her even during her times of unfaithfulness.
God tells Hosea to go and demonstrate his love for her, so he does. Now picture this scene, as ugly as it is: Hosea pays some Hebrew "pimp" for some time with his own wife, Gomer. When she enters the room expecting her next customer, she comes face-to-face with her husband. It is then that Hosea tells her again he loves her and wants her to come back home.
It's the lived-out message that Hosea later gives in words. And it is the same message God sends today. He loves us--even in our extreme unfaithfulness to Him. He longs for us to come back home, even though we have walked away from Him.
Much like a call on your cell phone, you can hit the "accept" or "reject" button. You have the power to send God to voicemail and make Him wait, or you can answer His call today, it is your choice.
The people of Israel had 208 years to pick up and they never did. The network is clear and reliable, "Can you hear Him now?"
This Sunday will be chapter 16 of The Story. I hope you are ready to encounter the Living and One true God who wants to do battle for us.
See you Sunday!