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The Wrath of God

( [email protected] ) Feb 04, 2009 01:00 PM EST

Read: Hosea 2:3-13

I will strip her naked and expose her as in the day that she was born. (v. 3)

The wrath of God ought to leave all of us more than just a little uncomfortable. It probably leaves some of us at least a little confused. How is it that the God who "so loved the world" is also the God who threatens the total humiliation and annihilation of some of his own?

It is easiest to divide God between the two testaments, Old and New, angry and loving. But that is not correct. Somehow the same God who loves with a steadfast love is also the God whose wrath burns like a fire. Hosea forces us to see both sides.

Most of Hosea's second chapter is a promise of doom should Gomer (Israel) continue in her adulterous (idolatrous) ways. But the prophecy of God's wrath is intended to bring Israel back to her rightful lover. God's wrath is not meant to be realized as fiery anger that annihilates but as an expression of profound love that longs for reconciliation.

Hosea's second chapter ends with a glorious vision of that reconciliation: "On that day, says the Lord, you will call me 'My husband' . . ." (v. 16). For God's repentant people, God's promised wrath fulfills its true purpose: reconciliation.

Prayer: For a love so deep, O God, we praise you. Amen.

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