Our small group Bible study is going through the book of Hosea. We’re learning about this incredible man and prophet of God. Hosea 3:1 challenged me significantly. It says, “Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a loverand is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.” God is commanding Hosea to find his wife Gomer (who has become a prostitute) and bring her back, but then He compares Gomer to “the children of Israel” whose focus was on other gods and raisin cakes.
Raisin cakes (made by pressing dried grapes together) were prepared and eaten as part of special occasions (2 Samuel 6:19). They were probably used in idolatrous and cult ceremonies and they are a symbol of Israel’s desire to try and serve God as well as serve the pagan gods in the culture.
What challenges me is why we, like Gomer and the people to whom the Prophet is speaking, settle for raisin cakes? Why do we settle for dried fruit when we have all the blessing, peace, hope, joy, and unconditional love from the God of the universe? Why does our culture turn away from God and desire less than what’s available to us?
I’m challenging myself, and you if you’d like to join me, to be on the lookout for times when I’m settling for raisin cake instead of the richness of Jesus Christ and the life He came to give. I’m challenging myself to look through the lens of the awe and goodness of God as things come my way and through that lens (or filter) make sure what I’m doing aligns with Him.
Let’s not settle for dried out raisin cakes when we have the fullness of Christ so available to us.