In the prophets God announces punishment as a consequence of love rejected, but does so with sadness, with a grieving heart. Like a human parent, it grieves Him to punish a child. He says this in Jeremiah 9:7. “What else can I do?” He argues. If people won’t learn to live rightly through appeal and grace, He must turn to punishment. After every national tragedy, the invasions by Assyria, Babylon and Persia, they have nowhere to turn to than back to God’s creative love. Each time God promises to restore His covenant, write His laws on their hearts, renews the promise of a Deliverer, to restore life into a sea of dead bones.
God never gives up on them, keeps on loving, no matter what. That was the heart of the message of Hosea. In the midst of a series of threats, He seems to break down, and cries out in love, Hosea 11:8. Hosea lived out that experience of rejection, forgiveness, restoration and repeated rejection. In it all, the message shines through of God’s undying love. If all we look for in the prophets are clues to understanding unfolding events in the 21st century, we can miss the central message of the prophets. The prophets are God’s powerful revelation of His personality. Through them, we get to know the God of love, who is perfectly revealed in His Son, Jesus.
Even so, as we grapple with their message and their lives, they do come across to us as rather weird, confusing and somewhat similar in their message. Someone has said in their defense, “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures”. How loud does the Lord have to shout to get our attention sometimes? Maybe that’s something to meditate on and take to Him in prayer today.
Let’s pray today for
Beatrix, with Bennet & Amelia
Ellie & Lee