"Yet you have disobeyed me. Why
have you done this?"
My two dogs, Kasey & Annie, are
well-behaved. I realize that some people, as they read that last
statement, feel the need to suppress a smile--but that's my story,
and I'm sticking to it. For the most part (note: "most part"), my
dogs are well-behaved.
Take Kasey, for example. In addition to
knowing the traditional tricks (sit, lie down, shake), her repertoire
ranges from the helpful (heel, kennel) to the impressive ("Bang"--in
which she flops down on her back with her paws in the air. And, with
the possible exception of "kennel", I unfortunately can't take credit
for any of her talents).
And yet, even Kasey is not a little angel.
She is an escape artist of the highest degree, and my backyard fence
is not high enough to keep her in. What's funny, though, is her
reaction to being caught in a moment of disobedience. In classic dog
stature, her tail goes between her legs, she can't quite look me in
the eye, and she sits down at my feet. In other words, she
knows she disobeyed.
Aren't we very much the same? There are
times when we know God's expectations for us, yet we choose to
walk a different path. The reasons are varied: perhaps we're caught
up in a moment; perhaps what we want becomes momentarily more
important than what God wants; perhaps we just weren't thinking.
Perhaps we've been influenced--if ever there was an example of 1
Corinthians 15:33, it would be Annie's (ahem) influence on
The bad news is: God is not happy with our
disobedience. In fact, He's down-right angry. The good news, though,
can be found in Hosea 11:7 - 9a, paraphrased:
My people are
determined to turn from Me. Even if they call to the Most High,
He will by no means exalt them. Yet How can I give you up? How
can I hand you over? How can I destroy you? My heart is
changed within Me; all My compassion is aroused. I will
not carry out My fierce anger
The passage begins with God's frustration
and anger that His people have turned away from Him (this is made
even more poignant in the context of the entire chapter), and His
initial declaration is, essentially, "I'm through with you!" Yet
notice that, immediately, God's heart is changed--His compassion is
aroused. God's love overcomes--His love is more
powerful than His anger.
What a relief--because I'd hate to have to
face God's anger, even though at times I would deserve to. In light
of this incredible grace, I've adopted the prayer from Jeremiah
10:24--"Correct me, Lord, but only with justice--not in Your anger,
lest You reduce me to nothing." At times I've adapted this to say,
"Humble me, Lord, without humiliating me." Either way, the request is
the same: "Be kind, Lord! I'm not above admitting I was wrong--just,
please, be kind." Fortunately, He's already given His answer: "I love
you. And yes--I'll be kind!"
If you have anything of interest to add to
or you have general comments, questions, or ideas,
we welcome your response.
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