By Samuel Clough
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” – Hosea 2:14 (ESV)
The Urgency of the Hour
As we begin to transition into an hour of shakings and turmoil, there is a critical need for voices that have prophetic understanding and prophetic insight. Many believers and unbelievers are mostly unaware of the shakings that have begun but will increase exponentially in the coming days. There is a massive need for messengers that can give prophetic clarity on these judgments as well as call men to repentance because God’s judgments must be understood in light of His desire for restoration and intimacy as illustrated in Hosea 2:14-16.
As He did before Israel was sent into captivity, God will again raise up prophets who will speak the Lord’s heart in the midst of the pressure. Many of these messengers will be weeping prophets like Jeremiah and many will probably lose their lives at the hands of the very ones they desire to bring into salvation. This call will be glorious, but also exacting and demanding. Many will turn in repentance because of the judgments of the Lord, but many will harden their heart, reject the message, and persecute the messenger. Most difficult of all, much of the fiercest opposition will come from those who are now part of the church.
The shakings that are coming are going to seem very severe to us. We are going to be severely tempted to question the Lord’s leadership and methods as He shakes the earth. It is easy to be on the Lord’s side so long as it does not touch as personally, but as His shakings encompass the earth and affect all peoples, whether or not we agree with Him will become a personal question rather than a theological or academic question. As the shakings encompass the entire globe, our agreement with the Lord will not be tested on isolated events anymore, but with real effects on real human beings that are connected with us. This will be the real test of whether we have enough confidence in His character to be in agreement with His leadership.
The judgments of God cannot be approached, nor understanding of them sought, until we have full confidence in His heart.
The Revelation of God’s Heart in Hosea
Hosea had a very unusual experience of God’s heart and experienced God’s emotions in a unique way. God called Hosea to experience the same emotions that God Himself experienced by leading him into a marriage that paralleled God’s marriage to Israel. Hosea’s experience is recorded for us into to give us a unique insight into God’s heart and how He feels. Through Hosea’s eyes we see and feel what God has experienced in His plan to redeem a people.
It is impossible to view judgment, or even general shakings, properly without a proper understanding of God’s heart. To often we are interested in an academic question about whether a certain sequence of events are “judgment” or not, but we have not actually entered into the experience of God’s heart in judgment. God’s judgment is entirely different from man’s judgment because God is altogether different than man. His judgments challenge our understanding, not because He lacks love, but because we are too fallen to understanding the violent intensity of true love.
God is also a consuming fire. That consuming fire is love. Our love is weak and sentimental when contrasted against His. His love is so passionate and consuming that it confronts a lack of love. Our dark minds will accuse Him of being harsh and cruel, but the reality is that He confronts us with what real love actually is.
In order to keep our hearts in the coming season, our hearts must be established and firmly rooted in confidence that God is good and everything that He does is good because He does it. Man fell in the garden because he wanted the right to evaluate good and evil rather than living under God’s assessment. When God’s judgments are in the earth, we are forced to agree with Him because of who He is rather than in our evaluation of what we perceive to be good and evil. When His judgments are in the earth, we are brought face to face with both His goodness and our fallenness. These are fundamental doctrines, but they are tested severely when God’s judgments are in the earth. Only those who are rooted in His goodness and humble enough to accept their own condition will have an unoffended heart flowing in love as pressures increase.
Anchored in His Love
“There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ [literally ‘my baal’]’” – Hosea 2:15b-16
It must always be understood that the intensity of God’s love is the reason for the intensity of His judgments. His judgments are deliberately designed to break off delusion and to position men to see Him rightly and experience His love. God’s love is so intense and consuming that He is not content with being called “my god.” He will be called “my husband” by those who will love Him because this is the intimacy that He desires and He will remove everything that hinders us from drawing near to Him (Hosea 2:15-16).
His love for mankind is so strong that He will have what He wants. He will have a people that know Him as “husband” and live in close relationship with Him and experience His love. His love cannot be denied. Many men will refuse Him, but He will not be refused forever. Many will be lost, but His judgments will also lead many into love. Judgments break off delusion and we are left stripped and naked before Him. Stripped and naked, with all coping mechanisms removed, we have the option to respond in love at the deepest level.
We will not survive the coming season unless we know the consuming nature of God’s love. When we begin to experience the fierceness of His anger, we must understand that His anger comes from the fierceness of His love.
Those who understand God’s heart will receive great reward in the hour of judgment because all who respond to Him will receive the benefits of His love. He will allure us in the desert wastelands of His judgment so that He can speak tenderly to us. There He will mercifully cut us off from everything that competed for our affections. The intensity of the judgments that are upon us will cause many to faint with fear and grow embittered against God, but we must be anchored to His heart and we must begin to instruct many because God’s heart desire is to bring men to repentance so that they might be prepared for the restoration of all things.
The great need of the hour is prophets and teachers who can instruct the earth in the ways of God and give perspective for God’s judgments. We desperately need faithful witnesses with understanding because what is coming is so far beyond anything we have ever known.
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