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In the prophetic book of Hosea, God speaks to his people using the language of metaphor and marriage. The promise of better relationships with God was expressed in terms clearly identifying the nature of the interaction as being love, and not power, based.

"And it shall be in that day," says the Lord, "...will call me, 'My Husband (Ishi)' and no longer call me, 'My Master (Baali)' (Hosea 2.16).

The clear message is that the way God wishes to interact with His people is not through power, authority, or control. Instead, God's wish is to be intimate, loving, protective, and supportive of His people.

Compare this to the often misused words of Paul in Ephesians 5.22 telling women to submit to their husbands. It is often used as a whip to prod women into 'their place' while ignoring the earlier verse about submitting to one another.

This is another excellent example of how scripture informs scripture. If God desires to no longer have his symbolic spouse view him as 'master' - than human men should look to this as their model. It is always better to have relationship than mere reverence.

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Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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