“...Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts...
I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land,
and slay her with thirst...
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.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’
She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.
“Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her nakedness.
So now I will expose her lewdness...
I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,”
declares the LORD.
“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
“In that day,” declares the LORD,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
...I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD."
And there in desert whirlwind, eyes hot and stinging, throat clenched tight and dry, His words ring clearly and without competition from all the usual howling voices.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church."
He desires me to leave all else and cleave to Him.
He is drawing me ever deeper, leading me through this aloneness that nurtures oneness. I have known this to be true for other relationships, barely begin to understand it for He and I-time spent alone bonds the hearts close. Develops unity.
"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."
Tears well now again, for what is this wild Love that wounds Itself to heal me? Loves me faithfully through my adultry? Slays me with thirst so I can realize that I'm thirsty? Offers me eternal quenching for all that's long run dry?
And He whispers it tenderly, blowing away all bonds that can not reach as long and high and deep and wide as this protective desert-ocean of His love.
"It is for freedom that I have set you free."