Chasing Her Tail

Hosea 2:6-7(a) “Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them.”

Observation: Israel is portrayed as an unfaithful wife bearing illegitimate children (verse 5) in alliances that can never satisfy. She is shown crediting her success to false lovers rather than acknowledging that it was her husband (God) who had miraculously and faithfully provided her every need. In response, God declares that He will wall her in, making it impossible for her to dally with the lovers she so avidly pursues.

Application: Think for a moment about the profound protection God offers to His beloved. She will not be permitted to find satisfaction in other than Him. Her repeated trysts with substitute lovers will be thwarted. No matter how frantic her efforts to pursue self-debasing relationships, God’s sovereign love will captivate her for her own good.

The Word says, “She will chase after her lovers but not find them,” conjuring an image of a dog fruitlessly pursuing its tail. Perpetually unsuccessful, it seems never-the-less to not tire of the effort.

What is it about the human heart that causes it to seek satisfaction other than in God? Why, against all evidence to the contrary, do we live as though this is our home, and that our chief end is to achieve success as the world measures such things?

It is embarrassing to admit to all the tails I have chased over the years, growling and barking as I circled in unrequited pursuit of “treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy.” (Matthew 6:19) But more embarrassing still, even shameful, is the honest confession that the tendency toward such pursuits has not yet been fully wrung from me.

The great news is this: into the darkness of such discomfiting admission shines the brilliant truth that my Lord and Savior, in His absolute commitment to me, has blocked my path. He has walled me in to prevent my most self-destructive tendencies. He has faithfully pulled me from doom’s brink so I can say, with Israel, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.” (Hosea 2:7(b))

Prayer: O Lord, I cannot begin to fathom the depths of Your love for me, passion that loves even as it disciplines. Thank You for multiplied mercies.

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