Today was such a crazy day for me. I had to make a lot of phone calls, planning Christmas Eve worship service, calling car insurance, helping my mom, all kinds of errands. I decided to get away to my favorite coffee shop to try and settle down and read. But Hosea was such a drag, I couldn't focus so I ended up ordering 2 cups of coffee (both pictured because they are pretty) and then I was too jittery to focus.
I decided late tonight to just listen to Hosea on audio while I did my hair up to curl it overnight. And it was just what the doctor ordered. It flew by and though I can't say I followed everything, certain things did stick out to me. The best ones being:
"My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them...My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man--the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west." 11:7-10
"I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grace, is your destruction?" 13:14
"For I am God, and not a man."
God will not take carry out His righteous warranted anger because He is God.
When we talk about Christmas we do two things: we make his humanity look polished and pretty and/or we talk about the nitty gritty, how human he was. The latter being my favorite since I think it's the most realistic and comforting.
We talk about how Jesus chose to come to earth and wear our skin. We talk about the humility it took. We talk about how He became just like us, he hurt, he wept, he slept, he got dirty, he ate, he used the restroom, he was tempted, he stubbed his toe, he had an imperfect mom and dad, etc. We share examples like this to accomplish the same "reality check" sort of thing as the magazines that feature candid shots of celebrities doing every day things. Look, Nicole Kidman is filling her gas tank, celebrities are just like us!
We talk about how God became just like us.
But the very act of becoming human was actually what made Him distinctly not like us.
We have offended God in all of the most egregious ways. We have earned nothing but His righteous warranted anger. We deserve His fierce anger. We deserve death.
When we are wronged we get angry...we unleash our anger....we fight. We seek justice. We look out for ourselves. Even though we have never been quite as offended as our Holy God has.
But He did not retaliate, He instead came to earth as a little baby.
He did something that not a single one of us would ever do. He may have looked like us, but that act was distinctly not like us.
What love and what compassion.
He came and defeated death, the very thing we deserve. He came and paid the consequences for what we. did. to. Him.
It's nonsensical, it's outrageous, it's beyond understanding, because "I am God, and not a man."
He is not like us.
P.S. Read Day 37 to read more about how "God offends the human heart and the human heart offends God."