Connected to God - 4 April 2018

Louise Gevers

“I drew them to me with affection and love. I picked them up and held them to my cheek; I bent down to them and fed them.” Hosea 11:4

Michelangelo’s painting of the creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God reaching out to Adam in a determined, passionate way. His hand is extended strongly towards Adam’s hand, while Adam is depicted lounging back comfortably as he half turns to God, appearing to put out his hand feebly in a halfhearted response. This illustration is iconic of our world and provides an apt image of the interaction between God and man throughout the Bible. God is constantly reaching out to connect to man who is engrossed in his own world.

Hosea paints a slightly different picture on the same theme. In the scripture above, God’s motherly tenderness and love for His people is seen in His warm embrace and provision for them. He has freed them and brought them safely out of Egypt, laden with riches. He has watched over them in the desert, going before them in a visible way. He has provided water, manna and quails for them; He has healed their diseases. Yet they’ve forgotten all these things and have busied themselves with their own pursuits to the extent that they have turned them into idols. But He still loves them faithfully even though they have wronged Him.

God’s love for His rebellious people is epic: “How can I give you up, Israel? How can I abandon you?” (Hosea 11:8 )

And what of us?

God has provided freedom from slavery to sin for us too. He has generously provided for us from His riches. He is watching over us on our journey through life. He alone knows the desert and is there to show us the way. He provides great varieties of food for our nourishment and for our pleasure. He provides water to sustain us, even in drought. He heals ours diseases …

Have we recognised God’s mercies and tender care of us as we’ve battled through hard times of injury and loss? Have we recognised the outpouring of His blessings and rewards during the times when our lives have been filled with love and light? Or, like the Israelites, have we turned our blessings into idols, and made our lives so busy that we don’t have time to connect with Him?

If Michelangelo were to paint a picture of you, instead of Adam, with God, what would it look like?

Prayer: Father, I don’t deserve Your grace, yet You care for me even when I’m rebellious. Please draw me close to You. Amen

 

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