In the novel, Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers parallels the Biblical narrative of Hosea and Gomer to compose a tear-jerking love story. If you have ever ventured into this novel then you will recall the two main characters. First there is Angel (Sarah) who initially works for a brothel as a prostitute. As we are introduced to Angel we realize that she suffers from a traumatic past that has scarred her heart and soul and wounded her ability to trust and love other people, this of course leads her to the prostitution and brothel. Secondly, the audience meets Michael a respectable farmer from the country with an honorable reputation and a bright future. Rivers brilliantly sets up the introduction for the characters: as Michael is purchasing goods at a farm store he catches a glimpse of Angel as she is leaving the brothel. He, of course, Is captivated by her beauty but not so much that he is blinded to the brothel behind her. However, much to his surprise God speaks to him with one word “Her.” Of course Michael is naturally resistant, but eventually takes hold of his deep and abiding faith. For the remainder of the novel, Rivers writes in a dramatic fashion. She articulates the story of how Micael relentlessly pursues Angel for a wife, while Angel repeatedly runs right back to the brothel. I can say it is quite exhausting and eventually the reader reaches a point of frustration! Leave her to herself and find another woman who will actually love you Michael Hosea! Despite the exhaustion, Michael never gives up. He pursues Angel with resilient perseverance and as the ending approaches a glorious moment of repentance ensues as Angel runs from the brothel and embraces the heart of the man who has forgiven, pursued, and loved her more than she can fathom.
You must realize there was a solid 4o minutes of sermon time between these points but let me jump to the end. After all, I’m okay with omitting sermon points as long as you hear Gospel truth.
Love gives, it doesn’t take. Anyone who has read Redeeming Love would agree, but so should anyone who has read a Bible, if you read it seriously. We all are similar to Angel. We spend our lives running from a Michael Hosea, who loves us infinitely more than we can fathom. Even though you have ran from Him, God has pursued you and given Himself for you, and has invited you to enjoy an eternal relationship with Him made possible through faith in Christ. Even though you have ran time after time back to the brothels of life, the love of God motivated Him to give His Son to die in your place. The love of God moved Him to give His Son so that He could give you forgiveness for your sins. That’s great news, isn’t it? Let’s #jointhemovement of telling a world living in the brothel about the God who infinitely loves them.