God’s Broken Heart – Part 1
“‘… like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.’” (Hosea 1:2 NIV)
No matter what our background is; what our race or ethnicity is; where we come from or how old we are; we all have had—or will have—our hearts broken at one time or another. And if it is a person that has broken our heart, you can bet that it’s someone we really care about; because neither a stranger nor some casual acquaintance could really affect us in that way.
Do you know that God’s heart can be broken too? We see this in the book of Hosea. It’s the only book of the Bible where a prophet is asked to marry a promiscuous woman so that he could experience the heartbreak God was going through and so that he could passionately communicate God’s message to the very people who had broken his heart. While Hosea’s wife was being unfaithful to their marriage vows, God’s people were being spiritually unfaithful by going after the false gods of the people around them. And the pain that Hosea felt as his wife committed adultery ended up being symbolic of the heartache that God felt when Israel left their first love to serve Baal and Asherah and Molech and other idols. Why was God heartbroken? Because just as Hosea passionately loved his wife, God passionately loved his people.
Today, we’re perhaps not literally bowing down before false deities, but we could be breaking God’s heart nonetheless. There are things that can come between us and God, so that he’s no longer number one in our lives. We could drift away from him even as we enjoy the friends and family and career and job he’s given us. We used to spend time with the Lord and ask him to speak to us through his Word, but perhaps now all these other blessings from God could be causing us to forget the one who gave the blessings in the first place. We used to love the gathering of believers, but now some of us are so taken up with our new car or getting that second job to save up for a bigger house, that there’s little time left for the things of the Lord. And God says, “I love you so much. I have to be number one in your life, because you’re number one for me. I gave my own Son for you! Are you now going to run around with other loves?”
You can see how this would affect God, for he has emotions. Didn’t Jesus cry out before they crucified him: “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing”? He did not say, “They’re going to punish you in about forty years. They’re going to surround you and wipe you out, but good for you! Wait until it’s your turn, because every dog has his day!” No, he wept, as he’s weeping over some of you today; because where you’re drifting is to Nowheresville. You may come to church on Sunday, but it’s not about church on Sunday. There’s no church-on-Sunday religion anywhere in the Bible. It’s a walk with the Lord every day. It’s loving the Lord with all our heart and treasuring him; because in the end, it’s the only path to peace and joy and fulfillment in our lives.
To be continued…
Read Hosea 1:1-11.