Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thy Will Be Done

"But I have been the LORD your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. So I will be like a lion to them, like a leopard I will lurk by the path. Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open; like a lion I will devour them— a wild animal will tear them apart. ‘You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your helper.’” – Hosea 13:4-9

C.S. Lewis said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it.” Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in this passage. God is depicted, not as a tyrant, not as come sadistic deity whom hates his creation, but as a loving helper who longs for nothing but the best for His people.

Sadly, Israel has rejected the One who is all-good. They are “against me, against you helper.” They have abandoned the one who saw their desperate situation in the land of Egypt. In Egypt, they were slaves - forced to hopeless lives of harsh labor under the whim of the Pharaoh. It was in Egypt that they cried out under the yoke of oppression and it was Yahweh who came to their rescue.

He sent Moses to lead them out. With a mighty hand and outstretched arm, Yahweh worked victory for His people. He led them through the barren desert and yet took care of their every need. He fed them and clothed them. Yet what was Israel’s response this outpouring of love and affection? They arrived at the promised land and demanded a king rather than God to rule over them. Those kings continually led them into idol worship, involving gross sexual conduct and child sacrifice.

There comes a point when judgment can no longer be withheld. God cannot maintain justice by simply giving them more time. God is slow to anger, but He does get angry. God’s lack of enthusiasm to deal out punishment is due to His longing for His people to come to a place of repentance. In fact, the second epistle of Peter tells us that the reason why Jesus waits to return to earth is because He is not willing that any should perish. When Jesus comes, it will be a joyous time for His people as He remakes our world into the paradise it was intended to be. However, it will also be a time of horrific judgment for everyone else. Jesus don’t long to deal out punishment, so he waits. Paul said in Romans 2:4, “Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

Make no mistake. There comes a time when God will judge. God’s wrath is awesome and terrible. He doesn’t long to show it, but He will. When we give Him no other choice, He will say, “Thy will be done.” And like a ferocious lion, He will empty the full cup of His wrath against His enemies. God will devour them.

There is a healthy thing known as the fear of the LORD. We would do well to not take God lightly.

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