Creating Conflict For The Sake Of Christ
“Marry a whore Hosea. I also want you love her, and conceive children with her.”
“But why LORD?”
“Because, you will be my example to Israel and my chosen ones for generations to come. Your strife and the conflict you endure will show my people what I go through for them.”
I love the story of Hosea and Gomer. The conflict that God created and Hosea decided to join in not only had a profound impact on the lives of those directly involved, but it provided a story that we could understand about the God whose love never fails.
The conflict in this story is more than just the conflict of a man in love with a woman who can’t seem to love him back, it is the story of a man who with reckless abandon chases after her, to woo her and win her over again and again. The conflict in this story is the conflict of the ages. It is about the God who woos us time and again, yet we invent new ways to commit adultery and fornicate with other gods. His wild love standing in opposition to our wild carelessness is the ultimate conflict, yet the only way to resolution because his love so radically opposes our rebellion that it wont stand for anything but our return, whatever the cost.
In the story of Hosea itself, Hosea had to buy Gomer out of slavery. He intentionally created and recreated a conflict because he selflessly followed the will of God, but also because he sought to have this woman love him as much as he loved her. Because Hosea was willing to create this difficult situation over and over again, instead of sitting passively and watching her walk out the door, he was able to win the love of his life. He knew that every bit of conflict was worth it if he could give himself completely to this woman, bowing to the will of God, in order to get her to love him in return.
In the greater story of Yahweh and his people, the conflict God let us create by giving us freewill and loving us anyway opened up the door for us to be able to truly love him back. He knew that ultimately it was worth it to give his Son to be our bridge to reconnect us with him. The conflict and resolution in this story speaks to me so loudly because I know how well I play the part of Gomer. I run, I hide, I commit adultery, and I end up enslaved to sin, but El-Elyon, God Most High, chases, finds, forgives, and buys me back.
Basically what I am trying to say is that it is easier to avoid conflict than constructively create it or face it head on, but if we always steer clear of friction then we are also missing out on the love that could be ours when we are willing to risk it all, our comfort, our routine, our “American Dream.” It is always easier to sit back, relax and watch the world “go to hell in a handbasket,” than it is to take up our crosses and stand in the paths of those on their way toward the gates of Gehenna and be willing to give our very lives to keep them from reaching their destination. Let us be peacemakers in the world by creatively and constructively taking part in conflict so as to win people; woo people to Jesus who first wooed us to himself.