Jesus comes from Heaven and is tempted as we are, endures everything we endure and FEELS our pain (and then some) as God’s special representative of himself. He shows us the LOVE of God, not merely in his healing touch and kind words, not merely in his right leadership and rounding up of strays, but evermore so in his taking our punishment on our behalf, in his paying our price for us.
These are standard observations made by Christians for many generations.
But what does God’s pain feel like? Has he ever shown you?
Yes. He has.
Not least in his prophets, and perhaps most personally in Hosea.
Hosea’s calling is not the standard call for all people of God everywhere at all times. Marrying a whore is ill advised. But Hosea seems to be the exception.
So that he can give us a special word from God.
He is not the only preacher to ever give us this word – at least in the general outline, but he is the one who most TAKES US THERE where the bone and marrow are ripped apart and God’s own heart is utterly broken with shame, pain, and despair.
Yes, Hosea does the unthinkable because God calls him to do it. He falls in love with a hooker. He becomes EVERYONE’s fool. A jerk, and idiot, a crazy man who should know better. He brings this pain on himself needlessly. He so easily could have found a nice girl to settle down with and make a family, but God calls him to marry a whore AND LOVE HER.
And the whore?
Well, she does what most whores would do in such a situation. She takes the money and runs. She feels good for a moment, and then chases the breeze looking for thrills and cash elsewhere. She is so fickle and untrue at every level. And it is devastating to Hosea and his kids, whom he even names “not my kids”.
Why would Hosea do this?
Because God called him to it.
Why would God call him to it?
So that Hosea can know HIS pain (and so you can too).
God is a fool for you. He has paid every price and endured every shame and still you turn your back and drop your panties at the mere mention of the whim!
You can find this level of insight in the other prophets too, actually, but Hosea brings it HOME in a most personal way. Every horrible pain Hosea endures tells us of the longsuffering of God’s grace poured out for us. Wanna FEEL God’s love??? Read Hosea aloud while standing naked before a mirror. It’s just You and God there with no pretense in the way.
Does God call all good little Christian boys to marry whores and love them?
But he did call this one to do it, and now he calls you to listen to what this one says to you about it.
Only Jesus is more personal with you than Hosea, and Jesus actually lives Hosea’s calling out even fuller than Hosea does. He is married to you now. His wedding takes place at his coronation – not unlike Adam and Eve. The naked Jesus comes to pay the price to have your love with a love that is only divine.
Feel his love reach into depths unspeakable where he will endure all pain just to have your devotion.
I have these things in mind as I knock on the church’s door. I take, prophetically, the role of the homeless unwelcome in your assembly, and I speak their part and that of Jesus. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you open up to me, I will come in and party with you!”
And when you refuse to open the door and let me in, I feel the rejection the homeless feel. I feel the rejection Jesus feels. The cold heart that will not open to God is a cold steel door with a lock on it and every rationalization for keeping him out. And I feel it. And I tell you about it.
I write here sharing my experiences so that you (among other things) can feel it too.
It’s cold out here. You have a fire in there, but you don’t have Jesus. Invite him in. If you do, he will come in and PARTY with you.
It’s a heavenly party! Won’t you open the door???
Can’t you FEEL the pain?
What if it were your son or daughter stuck out in the cold knocking on that church house door? Wouldn’t you hope the servant left in charge of the door was alert and ready?
What if it was you???
What if that person knocking at the door were your God? Would you be on the alert and ready to open to him when he knocked?