Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Tender Voice, A Loving Father

Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel); I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. (Hosea 2:14)

Hosea in this verse is talking about Israel as he refers back to the days of her wandering in the desert. A time period just before she was tempted by the Baal idol worshipping in Canaan. God had stated He was going to lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There He would reassure, encourage, and comfort Israel as He continued to show love in the midst of judgment.

Coming out of their bondage in Egypt, Israel was on its way to the Promised Land. A short journey made long because of their disobedience along the way. Patiently God stayed with them directing them in spite of their behavior. Quietly and tenderly He lead them, punishing them when they needed it, guiding them when they would listen.

There are times when we handle our desert experience no differently than Israel did back then. Found somewhere between the place of slavery where we were and our promised place of freedom in Christ we misbehave. Shocker huh? No, not really. What shocks us, for some reason, is the fact that our journey is prolonged. We figure if God really loves us He would get us in out of the sun as soon as possible. We fail to see or admit the fact that it’s our behavior that keeps us there not God.

Tenderly He speaks to us as He did to Israel and we need to learn to listen better to that warm compassionate voice of our loving Heavenly Father. The one who cares about what is happening to us in the desert. Often we mistake His tender voice as a “soft spot” in His personality that we can use to get by with whatever we ourselves want to do. Oh Jesus loves me, He’ll forgive me therefore I can do what I want and repent later. Dangerous theory that’s for sure, as with the example of Israel only one of the original group actually made it to the Promised Land, even Moses was prevented from entering because of something he did.

We definitely need to spend more time under the sun but it needs to be under the Son of God, Jesus himself. Learning from Him, listening to His tender voice, following the example He set when He was out in the desert being tempted by Satan. His attitude wasn’t, “I can do this now and God will forgive me later.” He knew God’s voice and He listened to it and even quoted what God had said in the past.

Just because God speaks to us tenderly doesn’t mean He doesn’t have something very powerful to say. Kind of like the parent, teacher, or employer who only has to quietly say one thing and we instantly know we better be obedient and listen or the consequences to follow wouldn’t be so tender. When it comes to the voice of God whatever tone its in its important that we don’t mistake the pitch of His voice for the content of what He is trying to tell us. We can listen now or hear about it later when it’s too late.

CLOSING THOUGHT: God is so awesome how He will tenderly walk us through our time of growing up, maturing, and learning how to be obedient. As He gently overlooks the mistakes we make along the way He sets us back on our feet encouraging us to keep on trying. Sending us out once again to continue our time of learning under the Son. Being stiff-necked rebellious children will get us nowhere but further wandering. The choice is ours, listen to the tender voice now or brace ourselves to hear His wrath later. Which is it going to be? I vote for the tender voice from a loving Father calling my name and yours. How about you?

Our host this week, Heather at her site, Titus 2 Woman. Wander over there and read and share with others on today's verse or quote from God himself.


lori said...

My favorite words..."stiff necked!" UGH, I can relate to that!! Wonderful post!!


Heather@Mommymonk said...

I sure am grateful for that tender voice.

Audie said...

What a BEAUTIUL post!!!

It is so true, that by our actions we will either come full circle or continue our growing up and wandering. I choose full circle! I choose His tender, sweet voice whispering in my ear!

Thank you for this VERY inspiring post!!

In Christ,

Denise said...

Such a great post, enjoyed it.

Shari said...

I like the question you ask in your closing thought. Of course, I'd prefer to respond to His tender voice. But sometimes my heart is wandering and I have to get His message the hard way. It would be so much easier if I just stayed close to Him on a daily basis.

MiPa said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

mamas*little*treasures said...

Isn't this just a wonderful verse for us to ponder and hide in our hearts? I love it when you say,

Just because God speaks to us tenderly doesn’t mean He doesn’t have something very powerful to say.

That is what I trust my children will understand about their Heavenly Father, and about their parents . . . . sometimes we have powerful things to say to our children to protect them and teach them, but we always need to balance the tough stuff with the gentle, tender love that only comes from our Father above. Thanks for sharing! Nina

Carol Van Atta, Princess Warrior said...

Thank you for your insightful and inspiring messages. May God bless your ministry. Carol (another sister in Christ)