God Warns Us. His Love Is Knocking On The Door

Worship is an inward feeling and outward action that reflects the worth of God.

John Piper

Every Friday became for me as some kind of a special day. I wait for it with great anticipation. And the reason is not that it is the last day of the week for me, even though it is true. The reason is the electronic newsletter from our church.

Since the government of British Columbia decided that, among the pubs, restaurants, liquor stores cinemas and etc., the church is not an essential element of the wellbeing of society. Thus, churches should be closed until further notice…

So, every Friday I am in anticipation for an email from our church to read that we are welcome back to worship our Lord Jesus in unity with the whole congregation, our church family.

But, as of this Friday, the message is still the same: “No gatherings for worship until further notice…

Warning From God: No More Worship

In the Book of Hosea (9:1-9), God warned Israel that He will punish her people by sending them away from the land, to a foreign land where they will not be able to worship their God and will not be able to make sacrifices to the Lord.

In the further chapter of the Book of Hosea (9:10 – 11:11), God lamented, because Israel went worshiping other gods: “But they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame, and became detestable like the thing they loved.” – (Hosea 9:10 ESV). They joined with Moabites in sacrificing to that dirty dunghill deity (Numbers 25:2-3), the shameful idol.

In His sorrow God compared Israel with the grapes, vine, heifer and child.

The Grapes In The Wilderness (Hosea 9:10-17)

God first formed them into a nation. In the midst of ungodliness and wickedness Israel was like “the grapes in the wilderness”. That vital fruit of life. Israel was blessed to be abundant and was a blessing to the nations who, by looking at them, will follow their example of worshiping the God of Abraham.

An Empty Vine (Hosea 10:1-10)

Israel got a good start with her forefathers, but went a wrong way afterwards. God has multiplied the nation of Israel. He blessed them with rich and fertile land. But, “a vine is of all trees least serviceable if it does not bear fruit” – Matthew Henry. Instead of bringing glory to God who blessed them, Israel adopted the culture of surrounding nations and started worshiping their gods.

A Trained Heifer (Hosea 10:11-15)

Here God compared Ephraim to a calf, trained to work hard in the field. Judah will be the one who will hold a plow behind the calf and Jacob will break the lumps of earth to make the land fertile again.

God made the Assyrians and other conquerors to rule over Israel with rigor and brutality, as men do to the beasts they ride upon. So, then Israel will “seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon” them – (Hosea 10:12).

A Child (Hosea 11:1-11)

Israel, as the national ‘son’ of the Father, was thus taken as a type f God’s only begotten Son, who was Himself Israel’s substitute to endure the wrath of God, thus assuring Israel’s ultimate repentance and restoration” – Henry Morris.

God’s justice and love, mercy and grace keep on amazing me. I can say no more, but to quote the Holy Scriptures again and again: “How shall I give thee up ..?“, “I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger …” – (Hosea 11:8-9).

God is debating with Himself, He is concerned for His ‘son’ Israel. Of course, there are no such struggles in God, like men have. But the expressions are in the man-like manner, with exception that God’s mercy is infinite, “for I am God, and not a man“.

Scripture

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. — Revelation 3:19-20 KJV

Observation

We may think that the closed doors of the churches is unfair. That the right to worship God, – by the way, the right which is given by God Himself – was taken from us. We may think that our enemy has taken over us, in like manner that the Assyrians took over Israel.

But, the pattern what the Bible shows over and over is that God has a plan and will execute it for our good and for His own Glory.

As a loving father reproaches, punishes and corrects his kids, God too, rebuke and chasten us. And as a prudent child, we have to listen to our Heavenly Father’s reproof and repent of our wrong doings.

The doors are closed, but He is standing at the door, and knock. It is not the government who shut the churches, they are just a tool in the Mighty hands of God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, hear His voice, and open the door, figuratively speaking. “I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.” – (Song of Solomon 5:2).

Application

This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
  1. Do you find yourself as “the grapes of the wilderness”?
  2. Is your vine empty? Do you bring forth the fruits of your salvation?
  3. You may be chastened by God. Do you know why?
  4. Where is your refuge? Where is your hope laid upon?

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise and glorify Your Holy name. Lord, You are the Almighty, loving, just, and merciful God.

We pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us our sins and we ask for Your forgiveness. We thank You, Lord Jesus, for the price what you paid for our transgressions against God.

May we hear You voice, Lord Jesus, and open the doors to our hearts, so you may come in and dwell within us.

We pray in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.

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