Tenderness

Day 346

Prayer for the day

Bow down your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and in misery. Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; save your servant who puts his trust in you.

Scripture for the day

Hosea 9-11, Revelation 3

Although most of us believe God to be a loving God, sometimes it’s difficult for us to remember it. Sometimes we get a skewed picture of God in our minds, one that represents to us the fury and wrath alone, one that would keep us from responding in gratitude or even in trust.

Hosea speaks of the tenderness of God in such a moving way that it’s hard to get the picture out of one’s head! He says:
When I found Israel,
it was like finding grapes in the desert;
when I saw your ancestors,
it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.

The “finding” of Israel to God was something joyous, something exciting, something that God was happy about! It makes her betrayal all the more painful, but it is worth noting that in God’s eyes, this nation, these people, became a joy to God.

John’s revelation allows us to see similar tenderness toward God’s people in the letters to the churches. We read words dripping with God’s love and care for His people. We read words that speak of God coming soon, words of compassion for what they’ve gone through, words of warning, trying to entice them to turn toward Him, words that ultimately seek to woo the people of God to the God who created and loves them.

God does indeed feel anger and have wrath, but if these are the only attributes we see when we look at God, we miss the beauty of seeing God’s whole character, the one that seeks to wrap His children in His love.

May you experience what Manning called the “Relentless Tenderness of Jesus.”

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