When my daughter Abby was three, she started what would prove a persevering habit of coming to me when she had done something wrong with the sweetest of smiles, and the report that “Jesus loves me!” It didn’t take long for me to figure out that she was telling me that she had just tracked paint on our wood floor in tiny green footprints, or practiced writing her name on the wallpaper with permanent marker. Yet, the sincerity of her childlike confidence in God’s forgiving love for her always tempered my response, reminding me of the place for grace.
The prophets had a lot to say about what their people had done, and were doing, wrong. I marvel at their boldness in speaking the messages of warning that God had given them. They felt an urgency that could not be contained. In fact, I have read the Hebrew word for prophet defined as “to boil up as a fountain” which seems an apt description of the words that spewed from them. But the uncontainable water spout carried more than condemnation, it also reminded the hearers of the hope and grace that could be found in the character of God. In Micah 7:7-9, he says “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness.”
But not only were the prophets called to speak God’s Words, they were called to LIVE them. We can especially see God’s Words fleshed out in the life of Hosea. Through what we would consider a disastrous marriage, God’s nature is again proclaimed. Hosea’s marriage to the adulterous Gomer portrays loud and clear how we can expect God to relate to us. He will not tolerate our sin, yet is quick to redeem us as His beloved. Hosea’s life was an intentional, and tangible metaphor of this message. Not only am I called to be a watchman in my day, so filled with God’s Words and Spirit that they flow out of me like a fountain, I am to speak of His warning, comfort and hope with the very LIFE that He has given me to live! Like little Abby, what I believe to be true about the character of God will become evident in the way I approach those around me. How accurate is the message that I live, in my relationships, priorities and pleasures, to the true nature of God? How does the way I walk through both the delights and the “disasters” of my own life tell others of who God is?
Down Victory Road
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57