Our Loving Father’s Compassion

Becoming parents allows us some unique glimpses into God’s parental heart. We understand the awesome gift God gave us by sacrificing His Son for our sin, because we know full well we wouldn’t sacrifice our children for anybody else. Thankfully, we are not called to sacrifice our children for others. In fact, we’re encouraged to focus on them, carefully raising them to know and follow God, being examples to them on how to live in order to please Him. Our parenting then should mirror God’s parenting of us. However, when our kids act crazy, we forget about being like God and default to allowing our feelings or our family upbringing to supersede God’s ways of handling situations.

God’s heart and corresponding actions toward His wayward children are revealed in Hosea, chapter 11. He says:

  • For my people are determined to desert me. (The NKJ version says, “My people are bent on backsliding.) They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.
  • Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.
  • No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy.
  • For someday the people will follow me. I, the LORD, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling… And I will bring them home again. Hosea 11:7-11 (NLT)

God knows His children. Although they seem determined or bent on doing everything opposite from what He’s taught or shown them, His compassion is constant. His children deserve His fierce anger. He is well able to completely destroy them. He would be well within His rights to simply give up on them. However, He knows one day they will be back. He knows, one day they will realize how much they need Him, and He’ll be there when they turn around. He may have to roar to get their attention, but when they head back, He’ll be there as He always has been, and not with an I-told-you-so attitude.

We know our children too. Although they seem determined or bent on doing everything opposite from what we’ve taught or shown them, our compassion must remain constant. Our children deserve our fierce anger. We are well able to completely destroy them. We would be well within our rights to simply give up on them. However, we know one day they will be back. We know, one day they will realize how much they need us, and we ought to be there when they turn around. We may have to roar to get their attention, but when they head back, we ought to be there as we always have been, and not with an I-told-you-so attitude.

Let’s follow God’s example with kids who have made mistakes. They’ve heard us as we’ve roared. There comes a time to let our compassion overflow like God’s did to kids who have suffered under the weight of their errors.

________________________

©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

 

~ by sanewriter on December 17, 2011.

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