“My heart is turned over within Me,
All My compassions are kindled.
I will not execute My fierce anger;
I will not destroy Ephraim again.
For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,
And I will not come in wrath.”
Friday’s Bible reading is Hosea 8–14. In the midst of Hosea prophesying about Israel’s sin and her coming judgment, he has the above words of compassion from the Lord. If you’ve read the history of Israel’s rebellion against God—their worship of idols and their heinous acts—you realize how incredible God’s love is. J. B. Hindley comments:
“Here we get a glimpse of the heart of God…His heart recoils….It is His unchanging and unchangeable character which settles the issue. To be true to Himself He must devise some just way of dealing with His people. The Holy One came in your midst to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt. 15:24) and to give His life a ransom for many (Mt. 20:28).”1
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
God demonstrates His love for His own while we were sinners; while we were His enemies, God reconciled us to Himself.
As His enemies, God called Israel to repentance. He does the same for all who live in rebellion against Him.
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:20–21
UPDATE: If you saw the post right after it went up and you notice something missing, I’ve since deleted a quote that wasn’t clear.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publication
1J. B. Hindley, “Hosea,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 714.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter