When thinking about the character of God, humans tend to either make Him smaller than He is by not recognizing His glory and authority over all creation, or so far removed from us we feel alienated and can’t recognize Him as sincerely concerned over our everyday lives. We can pray lofty prayers and still remain in doubt.
Faith is belief in the unseen. The fortunate among us see God. They recognize Him. It is through the miracles they have witnessed in their lives. They “feel” Him. They know His love for them. They are absolutely certain He cares what happens to us. But do they often think about how God feels? Certainly when human nature brings unpleasant thoughts or lips are brought to speak (or almost speak) the profane, guilt or remorse comes to mind of how God might be offended. But do people really consider the true faithfulness God yearns for?
The story of Hosea is a physical manifestation of God’s feelings toward His people. He refers to us as His “bride.” Hosea marries Gomer and she prostitutes herself for material gain. She has children but they are not his. They are fruits of her adultery. The language used is shocking to some to read in the bible as far as how graphic it is in nature. This is intentional to make a marked impression. The people of Israel are worshipping other gods and God shows through Homer’s life how Homer hates her yet loves and forgives her and at the same time how much he loves us, yet wants to forgive us and bring us home to Him.
Hosea tells us how God feels. He is not speaking only to the people of northern Israel when it falls to Assyria in 722 BC. He is speaking to all humanity throughout the ages. He is speaking of us today. Our reluctance to put God number one, before any and all others, and worship only Him affects Him deeply.
Hosea is set in the same time as Isaiah. The same events were taking place. Hosea mentions the sins of Israel (northern kingdom in captivity) about 150 times with half of them concerning idolatry. The reflection to events in Exodus are unmistakable. In Hosea 8:4-5 God says, “They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. (5) Throw out your calf-idol, O Samaria.”
But God’s anger is in conflict with His love for us. The pain and emotion come off the pages of the book of Hosea to make us feel what He feels. In Hosea 11:3-4 God says, “It was I who taught Ephraim (Israel) to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. (4) I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” (NIV)
God gave us His only begotten Son so we could understand the magnitude of His love for us. How many idols are we worshipping? Is He the only god in our lives? These are questions each individual has to ask themselves. We should remember daily, not just on Sunday. We have no idea how to love as deeply as God loves His people. We are incapable of understanding all their is to know about God. But let us know His emotions of anger at our rebellion is in conflict with His love for us. Let us know also He does not want one of us to fall into the hands of Evil and perish. He gives us Life through His son, Jesus Christ.
© Phyllis Weeks Rogers 4/19/18
Below is a very short explanation of godly jealousy: