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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Unconditional Conditions



"Unconditional Conditions," seems like an oxymoron. When I think about the word unconditional I logically think it means without conditions. How can conditions be unconditional? Unconditional is defined as unreserved, unrestricted, total, absolute or complete. A condition is a state, a form, situation or a circumstance. For example your present condition may be you're unemployed, facing an illness, a divorce or in a challenging situation. Whatever you're going through is your condition or your present state of being. Many seasons in our lives God will take us through a condition, a situation or circumstance to bring us to a point of unconditional, total, absolute or a complete state of being. This creates "unconditional conditions."

In the bible the book of Hosea tells a contraversial story about a man and a woman's relationship to reflect his unconditional love for us. The book begins with God instructing Hosea, a highly favored man of God to take Gomer, a woman of harlotry as his wife. All I can say is WHOA! This is like the bible version of "Pretty Woman." Can you imagine living your whole life serving God to be told your spouse is a prostitute and adulterer. I can only imagine Hosea felt doubt, fear, sadness, insecurity and even jealousy. 

The two become one and Hosea and Gomer have a child.  God commanded Hosea to name his first son, Jezreel and told them there would be bloodshed upon the valley of Jezreel. Yikes, not something I'd  want to give birth to. What Hosea and Gomer failed to recognize was Jezreel in the Hewbriac tradition means "God Scatters," as a farmer would scatter seeds. Before a farmer is able to scatter seeds he has to till the ground to prepare the soil. This is a dirty and physically laboring process, just like some of the situations we may find ourselves in. However, just like the process of preparing the soil for a harvest, the farmer must tear some things up and look at his bare farmland before he can scatter his seeds and watch the fruits of his labor manifest. Gomer becomes pregnant with baby boy number two and God commands Hosea to name him Lo-Ruhamah, which means "no mercy." There are times in our lives where we feel that no mercy has been shown to us. That life is so hard and our present situation is unbearable and we feel rejected by God. All we see is the pain, the struggle and the dirt of our present condition. Even Jesus himself on the cross in His last hours cried out to God and asked Him, "Why have you forsaken me?" Why do you show me no mercy? (Matthew 27) God responded that He will never leave us or forsake us because our conditions are unconditional.

Immediately after Gomer WEANED Lo-Ruhamah, she bore another son named Lo-Ammi, which means, "not my people." Another Yikes. You finally get past feeling barren to only move onto rejection. From the naked eye the situation looks grim, but with spiritual eyes it's unconditional.  If you noticed I bolded the word wean. Moms wean their infants from the breast to drinking from a bottle to solid foods. It's a SLOW and GRADUAL transition . So, why would God have Gomer and Hosea give birth to hardship, no mercy and rejection? In the Hebrew language the word WEAN translates to the word Gamal, which means, "bestow on, deal bountifully, do good, reward, ripen." So even in the midst of chaos and feelings of rejection and hardship, God is transitioning you SLOWLY into a state of reward. He is ripening you. When something is ripened, it is done, it is complete, it is unconditional. 

In chapter three, Gomer runs off with other men and God instructs Hosea to forgive her and run after her. When Hosea finds her she had been sold into slavery and he had to buy her back.  Hosea's name in Hebrew means Salvation. What I find most fascinating and exciting about this entire story is that Gomer's name means complete. So even in her dirty state of being, her un-Godly state of harlotry and sins she was seen as complete in the eyes of God who still loved her enough to bring her back to salvation (Hosea) and redeem her and give her back her self-worth. 

Just like Hosea taking Gomer back, God will redeem you and bring you to a place of growth and completeness. No matter where you are right now at this particular point in your life, God says do not fear. It is an unconditional condition. When it's all said and done, you are My child and you are complete and you are whole.