Day 16

The Lord’s Love for Israel

from the Hosea reading plan

Hosea 11:1-12, John 6:32-40, Matthew 23:37

Growing up in North Texas, tornadoes were common. Every spring, news channels would routinely interrupt our regularly scheduled program to update us on the latest tornadic activity. We’d watch with fear, wondering if the tornado was going to make its way through our part of the state.

Sometimes the tornado came eerily close. We would hide in closets or lie in the bath tub under a mattress, hoping to protect ourselves if it took our roof off. We felt like Isaiah: “We are men of unclean lips! We’re not worthy!”

Weather like that is fierce and unrelenting. You can’t hug a tornado into submission. It’s like an angry god, hurling its wrath toward anything in its path. It destroys a town and moves on to the next with no compassion or remorse. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised we never left a burnt offering on the doorstep to try and appease the gods of weather. Our fear was a type of worship.

In Hosea 11, we continue to see the interesting relationship between God and His people. Israel has been unfaithful. They don’t want God’s steadfast love. Like Gomer, they are a bride who chases after other men. They have a perfect, loving Husband at home, but to them, He’s not good enough. In this passage, there is yet another glimmer of hope because of God’s love.

Perhaps the most powerful phrase here is in verse 9: “For I am God and not man, the Holy One among you; I will not come in rage.” The good news for God’s people, and all sinful people, is that God is not like us.

We seek revenge; God seeks justice. We are spiteful; God is merciful. We are unforgiving; God is über-forgiving. We are adulterers; God is faithful. We are hateful; God is love.

God is not like us, but He does come near to us. He is wrathful toward sin, but He doesn’t leave us in His wrath. As He has shown time and again in the book of Hosea and throughout the rest of Scripture, He draws us in rather than forcing us out.

God is not an uncontrollable, mindless tornado. He is not seeking to tear the roof off our house, destroy our belongings, and leave us destitute. Though our spiritual houses may collapse, and they almost assuredly will at some point, He will not leave us homeless. He doesn’t leave destruction in His wake and move on to the next town.

Through Jesus, God has brought us near. Through the Holy Spirit, God has made us not just His house, but His temple. He lives inside of us. He propels us toward loving and following Him. Though we cheat, He takes us back.

Written By Brandon D. Smith 

Post Comments (3)

3 thoughts on "The Lord’s Love for Israel"

  1. Nick S says:

    Its cool to think that God does not come at us is fierce rage, but wrath & justice. He offers mercy to his people and even when we dont stay faithful, he doesnt come in and completely obliterate us with no hope of restoration. He knocks us down, tears down our walls, only to pick us back up and rebuild stronger walls. God give me faith to trust what u say and to really love you.

    Thanks for loving me and doing what is for my good. You are jealous for me

  2. Ben .W says:

    One thing I ask of you Lord, this I will pray, to dwell in your house o Lord, everyday. To gaze upon your lovely face, and rest in the father’s embrace.

    Though I am weak, you are strong. Held me to lean on you and seek you Lord.

  3. Kevin says:

    Day 16: thank goodness Jesus isn’t like us. It would be impossible for heaven to exist if Jesus sinned to and for me to think of the consistency of perfection he shows is beyond me. I’m thankful he takes us back every time we cheat. I feel like I’ve downplayed the importance of that sometimes but that is the craziest thing ever.

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