Hosea 13:12-15 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
his sin is kept in store.
The pangs of childbirth come for him,
but he is an unwise son,
for at the right time he does not present himself
at the opening of the womb.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from Death?
O Death, where are your plagues?
O Sheol, where is your sting?
Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
Though he may flourish among his brothers,
the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come,
rising from the wilderness,
and his fountain shall dry up;http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
his spring shall be parched;
it shall strip his treasury
of every precious thing.
Hosea 14:3-4 Assyria shall not save us;God is on a roll, convicting Israel of the consequence of their sin. God is disciplining these people, not punishing but disciplining. I love this about God, because in the midst of this tyrate about the outcomes of their decisions he stops to remind them of his awesome provisional love. Read 13:14 again and you see that he reminds them that He is one who will DESTROY DEATH. He is the one whose love is freely given.
we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, 'Our God,'
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy."
I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
I want my words and my thoughts to be like God's when I rant. You see, it is out of the very death destroying love of God that he sends correction. His warnings to them are not angry screams, but passionate calls for a course correction. His jealous anger is not motivated by a petty need for self gratification, instead it is love so pure it is holiness. My anger is rarely motivated by anything more than lazy self seeking convenience.
About 4 years ago one of my coworkers lost a young family member in a terrible train accident. After the accident he talked about how his cousin called to her son to stop him as he was walking toward the oncoming train. My heart breaks, as I remember this story, feeling the mothers pain, crying out of her love for her son hoping her words will intercede and stop the tragedy about to be poured out on him. This is the heart of God's cries.
This is his holy love as he rants. His love causes him to stop. He stops to remind himself, that there is hope! He stop to remind them that death and all it's power will be swallowed up by love. He stops to remember the price, the price any good parent would pay, to save his children from themselves. He stops, to consider again incarnation, and it's power to unite all things back into perfect peace fellowship with the unity shared among the Godhead.
Perfect love has great cost. Any love that has no element of suffering is not God love. Any love that does not cost us our very lives is not incarnation love. As the boy's mother would have taken the hit of the train upon herself, our precious God showed us what real love is through his suffering to make all things right in himself, to destroy not just the consequence of death, but the very institution of death itself.
We worship a God whose love has turned away the anger of our apostasy. We worship a God who has healed us so that all things may be made new in him. We worship a God who promises that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.(Heb 2:9) We worship a God who invites us to become like him in this radical love. We are invited to the mystery that by losing every right to our lives in this old kingdom that we are awakened to a new kingdom with an abundant life that continues perpetually as we together become his new incarnation body.
Psalm 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I just want to be like my father, my God!