Friday, August 4, 2017

resist the reflex

The Word for today:
Hosea 1, 2
mark this: Hosea 11:8
How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel?
Vulnerable. Pathetic. Desperate.
Those words aren't usually associated with God. We just don't want to think of God that way. But scripture reveals a divine brokenness that we cannot deny or wish away.
The point is not that God is like us; rather he made us like himself (see Genesis 1:26-27). If we have emotions, it is because God gave them to us.
Jesus told Philip that he came to show us the Father (John 14:9); and Jesus showed us the divine emotions of anger at sin (John 2:13-17), joy over his followers (Luke 10:21), and sorrow over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-42).
The prophet Hosea was called to be a visual representation of God’s heartache over unfaithful Israel. God commanded him to marry a harlot named Gomer, knowing that she would be unfaithful to him. Gomer left Hosea for another man, who tired of her and put her up for sale in the slave market. God then told Hosea to buy her back.
It's the very same story that would be retold in the New Testament, when Jesus Christ came and paid the price so that He could take his bride, the church, out of bondage to sin.
Hosea and Jeremiah / North and South
Hosea is a prophet to the northern kingdom of "Israel." (Israel is frequently referred to by the name of their largest tribe--“Ephraim").
Hosea warned the northern kingdom--just as Jeremiah would later warn the southern kingdom of "Judah"--that they were going into captivity. Both prophets spoke from a broken heart. Hosea came from a broken home.
Resist the reflex.
In Hosea and Jeremiah, like nowhere else in the Bible, God’s vulnerability is exposed.  A pathetic and desperate love is revealed, and the child of God reflexively shields his eyes from the sight, nearly unwilling to see Our Hero in this light.
Resist the reflex, take the shield from your eyes, and encounter the revelation. It’s something we were meant to see.

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