Hearing The Lion’s Roar
No one can see the pictures of the mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and remember 70,000 were killed instantly at Hiroshima and 40,000 at Nagasaki without feeling the cold sweat of fear that the nuclear saber-rattling has started again.
The Apostle Paul commands us to pray for our leaders to have wisdom so that there can be peace and the Gospel can keep going out to others. The Hebrew prophet Hosea reminded his audience of the time when God did rain down fire from heaven and totally annihilate five cities near the Dead Sea because they refused to heed his warnings. Admah and Zeboim are not as famous as Sodom and Gomorrah, but Deuteronomy 29:21ff states that these two cities were annihilated with their larger neighbors and that stubborn, arrogant, long term rejection of God’s covenant with Israel would lead to this same devastation.
We’ve been talking about how the Assyrian invasion beginning in 727 BC made Israel a wasteland and it looked like the history of Israel would end, but Hosea had more than a word of judgment. As the Lord looks at the consequences of his people’s sin, his justice demands judgment, but his father’s heart is turned over with compassion.
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I give you over to destruction like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboiim?
My heart is turned upside down within me.
All my comfort is kindled together.
I will not carry out my burning anger.
I will not return to destroy, Ephraim.
Indeed, I am God, not a man, the Holy One in your midst.
I will not come in shock and awe.
They will follow after the LORD.
He will roar like a lion.
When he roars his children will come trembling from the west.
They will come trembling as birds from Egypt, as doves from the land of Assyria,
and I will settle them in their homes, says the LORD.” Hosea 11:8-11
The Apostle Peter prophesies that the elements will melt with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10) but it’s not going to be because two human leaders lose their tempers. God still controls history and Hosea predicted a future time for his Jewish people when they would hear the Lion of Judah roar and they will return to him. The Apostle Peter reminds us, who have already believed in Jesus, to not be paranoid about the possible end to our present word. There’s a New Heaven and a New Earth coming.
LORD, help me to respond to the tender love and compassion of your heart as you father me today. Calm my fears and the fears of friends as we trust in your sovereign control over history. It’s hard not to allow the constant tension created by the 24-hour news cycle to shake our rest in you.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!