“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 Achor (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’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked.
In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. (Hosea 2:14-20)
What an incredibly interesting choice of words God uses as he speaks of His unfailing love for His beloved spouse--unfaithful Israel. When other lovers might be tempted to wash their hands and walk away because of the hurt and the heartache she has caused by chasing after other lovers, this Lover chooses a much different path. His heart simply will not let Him leave. He is still deeply and hopelessly in love with His beloved Bride. So much so that He decides to pursue her with all of His might rather than give up on her altogether; in order to completely capture her heart. Therefore, I will allure her are the exact words He uses, and incredible words they are. In fact the word for allure in the Hebrew means to open. It is a profoundly intimate word that carries with it a profoundly intimate image; an image of the quality and intensity of the life God longs for with each of us. God is going to lead her to the desert and speak tenderly to her, all in a passionate desire to open her...to (and for) Himself, that He might enter in and show her the depths of the love He has for her. This is because God desires intimacy with us that is deeper and wilder, more tender and more passionate than any relationship we will ever have. Intimacy so deep that it leads us to the place where we are able to call Him my husband rather than just my master, and be betrothed to Him forever.
So my question becomes, Where do I sense God is alluring me? How is He opening me that He might enter in and show me the fullness and the delights of the love and intimacy He made me for? How is He capturing my heart completely and making me all His own? What does it look like for me to open to Him?