7 07 2006


Hosea 10:12-14  (NIV)  
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness,        reap the fruit of unfailing love,        and break up your unplowed ground;        for it is time to seek the LORD,        until he comes        and showers righteousness on you.
 13 But you have planted wickedness,        you have reaped evil,        you have eaten the fruit of deception.        Because you have depended on your own strength        and on your many warriors,
 14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,        so that all your fortresses will be devastated—        as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,        when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.

Hosea 11:9  (NIV)   
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,        nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim.        For I am God, and not man—        the Holy One among you.        I will not come in wrath.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)  14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Yesterday I was working with a guy who was hauling my 4Runner home after it broke.  He made a comment that if he did something wrong, God would get him.  I said in reply, “That’s not the God I know.”

Why do so many people have this idea that God is angry and is going to get them for their infractions.  It is like they see God ready to pounce on them for every wrong deed.

It is clear that God disciplines His people – He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to hurt ourselves.  Sure, God gets angry.  What parent doesn’t.  But He isn’t vindictive, unjust, or uncaring.  In fact, the text above from Hosea 11 tells us that if He were human, He would carry out His anger – but because He is a God of love, He doesn’t.

I saw a cartoon recently and the parents were trying to track down their teenage son.  They finally found him at a party and as they went in, the mom said she was going to “kill him.”  The father said, “No.  Wait.  Let’s make sure he is safe – and then we’ll kill him.”

Parents do get angry – but it comes from our deep sense of love and concern.

Yesterday I was doing some things in the garage and my daughter came out to “help” me.  She generally stays pretty close, but her 17 month old mind is beginning to exercise its independence and she started trotting out to the street.  I asked her to come back – she kept going.  I told her to come back – she toddled on.  I demanded she come back – and at this point she turned and I saw this sly grin on her face as she kept going.

Was I angry – a little, but not overly so.  Truth be told, it was kind of cute to see her testing the limits.  But I grabbed a hold of her arm.  Not violently, but with just enough pressure to let her know I meant business.  She fought, squirmed, shrieked, and loudly let me know that I was violating her will.  At that point, I took her in and put her in timeout for a whole minute.

Initially, she cried.  Her feelings were hurt, but for the remaining 50 seconds, she sat their quietly.

Why did I do this?  I know that she doesn’t have the cognitive reasoning to understand the consequences of her actions.  I know that for many years to come, she is going to have to rely on the wisdom of her parents in order to survive.  I also know that we are training her to make good decisions.

God is seeking to do the same thing in our lives.  Not because He is angry or vindictive – but because He wants the best for us.

I had a conversation with someone yesterday about some of the requirements of our church.  It is amazing to me how willingly people go along with requirements in their HOA, or their work, but they balk at anything remotely like that in their church.

I’ve noticed that those who protest the loudest (through actions or words), are usually the ones who will most benefit from what they are resisting.

I am the same way with God.  When He tries to discipline me – I protest loudly.  And usually, I need that discipline more badly than anything else in my life.

Dear God, teach me to be compliant to your leading and teachings.  Teach me to follow you.  Teach me how to teach my daughter and my church.

Thanks God!





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