Hearing Two Voices
I just re-read Redeeming Love. It is an awesome book! Author, Francine Rivers, weaves a captivating story set in 1850 in California’s gold country. Angel was sold into prostitution as a child. She is broken and empty. Michael sees her and God tells him she is to be his wife. Sound familiar? The Bible has a similar story about God telling Hosea to marry a harlot named Gomer. (Let’s get it out there – the name Gomer makes me smile.)
Redeeming Love is about how God takes a hopeless miserable wretch; loves her; and makes her clean and whole.
This book is classic Christian fiction and is a really good read.
What struck me this time as I read Redeeming Love* is how the author has the characters talk to God and has God speaking to the characters. His words are intimate and loving words full of guidance and encouragement.
God to Michael:
This is the woman I have chosen for you. Go back and get Angel.
Do my will, beloved. I drew you up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set your feet upon a rock. Go back to Angel.
She’s fighting you the only way she knows how.
Have patience, beloved.
Michael, there is a time for all things.
Comfort my lamb.
Trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
(God! Is there a sin this woman hasn’t committed?) No. (And you ask that I love her?) As I have loved you.
Let her go, beloved. Give her to me.
Beloved, I am always with you, even to the end of time.
God to Angel:
(She is thinking she didn’t know anything to survive.) You’re going to learn.
You have to die to be reborn.
Live. Keep going. Don’t give up.
Go into that café and rest.
I am the way. Follow me.
Be still for I am here.
Though you deny me, I love you with an everlasting love.
Come to me, beloved. Stand and come to me.
I have not given you a heart of fear.
God speaks to the characters in specific applicable ways.
In the book though it just doesn’t have God speaking to the characters. Satan speaks to them too.
Satan to Michael:
When are you going to act like a man? Why are you holding back? She belongs to you, doesn’t she? What are you waiting for?
Satan to Angel:
You have to go back, Angel. You must. You’ll never be free if you don’t. Besides, he’s crazy praying to a god who doesn’t exist or care and reading a book of myths like it was the answer to everything.
Run away from him, Angel. Run away now.
Come on, Angel. Remember how you used to close your mind? You’ve done it before. Do it again. Don’t think. Don’t feel. Just play the part. He’ll never know.
It would never have worked, Angel. Not in a million years.
The world has no mercy, Angel. You know that.
There’s a price for everything, Angel. You know that. You’ve always known.
You just don’t belong, Angel. You never will.
Because Michael fed you hope, and hope is deadly.
Because you are living a lie. If he knew everything he would detest you and cast you out.
Fool! You want to end up like your mother?
Michael’s just a man like any other.
Stay! Don’t you deserve some happiness after all the years of living in misery?
He’ll never know, Angel.
Satan speaks in specific ways too. Deceiving. Lying. Manipulating. Accusing. That is what he does.
On the other hand, God’s word gives us direction, encouragement, love, mercy and grace.
God speaks to us. He is drawing us closer to Him with His redeeming transforming love.
He has the power to make us whole.
To forgive us.
To cleanse us.
To cast our sins as far as the east is from the west.
To make us pure as snow.
To cast our sins into the depths of the sea.
To protect us.
To provide for us.
To give us hope.
To give us a future.
To give us peace.
We hear two voices. The one of deceit which tears us down and the one of love which builds us up. Which one do you choose to listen to?
[*This post contains an affiliate link to the book, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers.]