Hosea / chapter 6 (read the chapter)
In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the idea that, in Hosea 5, God describes Himself as a lion that will tear His own people to pieces. This is an image that many Christians are uncomfortable with, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We should be initially skeptical of anything that tends to put God in a bad light, since we know Him to be a merciful, gracious, and loving person.
Thankfully, in today’s chapter, Hosea provides more insight into this image of God as the lion: “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” (vs 1-2) This reminded me of C.S. Lewis’ description of Aslan (the lion who represented Christ in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe): “He’s not safe, but he’s good.”
Hosea reminds his listeners that even if they have been wounded, God can heal them. And then he even takes it a step further in the next verse, explaining that God can bring to life the things that are (or seem) dead. You see, the Israelites believed that a person could still “come back to life” up to two days after death, but in their minds, that became an impossibility by the third day. Thus, what Hosea was saying to the people was that even when it seemed God had mortally wounded them, He could still give them life.
This is why God can be trusted with our pain—especially if it’s pain He has caused! He alone knows what we need in order to be healed, and because He loves us so much, He is even willing to do the hard things in order to save us. He will leave no stone unturned in His quest for our restoration.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter where our suffering comes from—if it’s from our own mistakes, if it’s inflicted on us from another person, if it comes from Satan, or if it comes from God. No matter where suffering and pain originates, God can and will use it to heal, restore, and save us.
He may not always be safe, but He is always, always good, and everything He does is good.