In PURSUED, bestselling author Jud Wilhite, senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, writes about how urgently, passionately and relentlessly God goes after His people in love. He bases the foundation of this text on the Book of Hosea as he retells the story of this Old Testament biblical character of the same name and to whom God told to marry a prostitute. This unlikely command given by God to Hosea and his wife/prostitute, Gomer, is so noteworthy because of the faithful, undying love God instructed Hosea to display toward his unfaithful wife.
Wilhite goes through this story blow by painful blow and himself shares how wild this sort of committed love is in any setting, let alone one ordained by God. He helps modern-day readers better understand the depth of pain that Hosea felt when Gomer repeatedly left him (and their children) to go running after other men and, after bedding them, would eventually be wooed back home by Hosea. Throughout this ultimate love story, Wilhite reminds Christians that God, unlike us, has a love that is measureless, ageless and endless.
"Readers will find themselves challenged (in the best possible sense) to reframe what they believe about the God who loves them enough to never stop chasing after them."
As Wilhite so aptly writes, “When God wanted to illustrate the passion, love, and relationship He desires to have with us, He didn’t showcase a lawyer with a bureaucratic list of dos and don’ts. He didn’t platform a politician who would introduce strategies to change the world. He didn’t choose a sword-wielding warrior, a power-hungry monarch, or an invincible superhero. He didn’t even choose a saint or a priest. He chose a prostitute to flip our preconceived ideas about God and faith upside down.” And like Hosea’s unfaithful and slow-learning wife, Christians are much the same in their heart attitudes and actions as the prostitute Gomer. Today’s believer frequently runs fast and furious not after God but full-steam ahead toward everything that will dull their faith and destroy their life.
Wilhite shares his personal journey to faith and how even after opening his heart to Christ, his faith and love for God grew cold, distant, and anything but passionate. This timeless tale of God pursuing His people to the end of their days (and the end of time) is what God used to jar Wilhite back into a passionate relationship with the Savior. He notes that many Christians hold onto an unbiblical “moralistic therapeutic deism” form of religious belief whereby they understand that God created the world, but He also wants, above all, for people to be happy, nice and fair to each other. God doesn’t need to be part of a person’s life unless there is trouble brewing and all good people go to heaven.
Rather than cling to the biblical truth of forgiveness, the gospel and grace, American Christians predominately opt for trying to be “good enough” to please God and get into heaven. This fallacy is a deadly one, destroying both life today and the promise of life in heaven. Readers will find themselves challenged (in the best possible sense) to reframe what they believe about the God who loves them enough to never stop chasing after them.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on February 13, 2013