Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Heart of God

Read Hosea 11.

In God's revelation through his servant, Hosea, we get an imaginative picture of the heart of God as he wrestles with what to do with his wayward child, Israel; and, in turn, we learn how God loves us.

God's love is like that of a loving father who patiently puts up with a rebellious teenager. (Hosea 11:1-4) Any parent who has walked alongside a child becoming an adult gets how God loves/feels in this situation.

Hosea also reveals to us that God's love lets us experience the consequences of our choices. (Hosea 11:5-7) God let Israel choose their kings and whom they would worship. God simply let all their choices play out in their history.

Many of us blame God for our circumstances, but I'd say 90% of my messes I am in, I made! The troubles are simply the results of my free, self-patronizing choices--and being the human I am, I keep making them. God waits for me to admit my self-centeredness and turn to him. One more application: Too many parents never see their children mature because they never let them experience the brutal consequences of their choices.

The most incredible revelation of the heart of God is that God's love ultimately wins out over God's anger. (Hosea 11:8, 9) God's heart is a tender, wrestling heart for those he loves; and, in the end, that love is the motivation for how he acts, not his anger.

Mark this in your Bible and brain. God said, "I am God, and not human." That means when I project on God how I think/feel God should respond to me or a situation, I am acting like God. That confession also means God will not always respond like we want/need God to respond to us or in certain situations.

Hosea, the servant of God who married a prostitute to demonstrate God's love, revealed the heart of God to Israel and us . I am humbled such a God loves and patiently waits for you and me.

If you would like to hear the full message I preached on Sunday, you can hear it here.

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