A God Of Sorrows
“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations.”
In the midst of God proclaiming His wrath upon Judah to His prophet, Ezekiel, Our Father God says plainly that He has been hurt (literally – broken) by the wandering hearts and eyes of His people. This is not a side of God many of us are accustomed to seeing, but He does feel the whole gamut of emotions. Most of us see Father, especially in the Old Testament, as a raging God of vengeance – doing what He can to appease His anger until He can pour it all out on His only begotten Son; but there is so much more to Him than that. Now is this hurt He feels a sign of weakness? Of course not. It is a sign of His love. He deeply loves His people. He always has.
Remembering that Jesus was a perfect picture of Father, Isaiah wrote of Him:
"He was despised and forsaken of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him."
There are countless times when Israel failed to esteem Abba (Daddy) and hid their faces from Him. For that matter, there are countless times that we Christians have done the same thing with our sin, and we have His Spirit living within us. God is broken by such behavior and attitudes. It pains His heart to see His own reject Him to go after other gods, literally or figuratively. He feels grief at our rejection of Him.
"How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
Again and again they tempted God,
And pained the Holy One of Israel."
From where does Abba’s grief and pain come? It is not His righteous indignation, but the unfathomable depth of His love. He has always likened His relationship with Israel to a marriage relationship just as the relationship between Christ and His Church, entering a covenant of mutual love and devotion; and just as an adulterous spouse would tear our hearts out, so too does it pain the heart of God to witness the continuous adultery that is committed against Him. On a personal note, it saddens me deeply that I have hurt my Daddy, that I have turned on Him and
went my own way – ignoring and sometimes scorning His love and His wishes with my insolent behavior. To think that I may have put tears in Daddy’s eyes pains me greatly.
He has demonstrated His love in former times in His generations worth of patience before His justice demanded wrath, and in His quickness to forgive and to restore His people when they come back to Him. Now we have an even greater demonstration of His love for us, that He has poured out the full measure of His wrath on His own Son so that we could be spared. He made us, He loves us without limit, and He has determined to spend eternity with us, no matter what the cost.
“You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, you have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
Instead of pleasing Him, Israel scorned Him. He was burdened and wearied by their negligence and their sin, just like He is with our sin today; but what was His response? Again, He proclaims that He will wipe out our sins and remember them no more for His sake. It wasn’t that they (or we) loved Him, but that He loved us that much. We get almost indifferent about God’s love because we hear it so much in the New Testament and from the pulpit, but we must consider how great a love that is, and continually be mindful of it. The film “The Passion Of The Christ” served as a solid reminder of that love, as Jesus was thinking of you and me while He was suffering and dying; and so was our Daddy, who was witnessing what was likely the most painful thing He ever endured, but He planned it and allowed it to happen because He loved you and me that much.
"How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I surrender you, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart is turned over within Me,
All My compassions are kindled."
His heart is turned over within Him. What a bold statement He makes, as His people grieve His heart once again! He passionately pleads to and for His people, and will not give them up despite their adultery against Him. He doesn’t want their demise, He wants them back. His compassion is kindled, as He wants to love on His people once again. There is no end to His love, no limit to the mercy and grace He longs to pour out on us if we just let Him.
What about you? Do you have any idea how much God loves you, and how much He wants you back? He laid the punishment for our sin on His own Son, Jesus, so we could find our way home. All we have to do is repent of our sin and turn away from it, and invite Jesus to come into our lives as our Savior and our Lord. Through Jesus we are reconciled to God – our peace is made through Him, as is our salvation from the righteous requirements of God’s perfect justice. If you have never said this prayer before, and are serious about wanting a loving relationship with our incredible God, and want to know for sure that you will be going to Heaven to be with Him for all eternity, just say the following prayer.
Lord God, my Father, I am a sinner. I need You in my life and in my heart. I ask You to come into my life. Dear Jesus, I know You died for my sins and that you rose again to give me eternal life with You. I repent of my sins and forsake them. Please come into my heart and be my Savior and my Lord. I thank you for saving me and loving me. Help me to live for You as You lived for me. I pray this in your Name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and meant it, congratulations, and welcome to the family of God!
† All Scripture references taken from the New American Standard Bible, Updated. ©1995, The Lockman Foundation
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Thank you for this sound reminder of God's love for mankind.
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