Steve Ellison: What Can He Do With Me?

Friday, March 20, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Dying from COVID-19 is not the greatest tragedy.  Dying apart from Christ is the greatest tragedy.  Does God have your attention yet?  The life of Hosea illustrates the longsuffering, pursuing love that God has for His people in spite of our appalling unfaithfulness.  The book of Hosea is a vivid and shocking object lesson of just what lengths God Almighty will go to in demonstrating His patient, extravagant, pursuing love for His children.  God created us.  He chose us, not because of any merit in us, but simply because He chose us.  He bought us back out of the slavery into which we had sold ourselves.  He came looking for us after we wandered away yet again.   In spite of our filthy unfaithfulness, He welcomed us back time after time. 

 

Can God become exasperated?  Can God reach the point where it appears that He does not know what to do?  Can God feel emotional pain?  I don’t know those answers, but take a look at Hosea 6:4, where He at least uses human emotions to show us what His people (then and now) are like, “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” (NIV)   How can anyone read that and not hear the sound of the divine heart breaking?  I do not understand all there is to know about the absolute sovereignty and immutable character of God.  I do not fully understand why God created us and desires a relationship with us.  I do not completely grasp what our lack of loyalty and love does to Him, but my reading of the Old Testament seems to indicate that it causes Him awful heartache.  The verses that follow verse 4 highlight the intense, repeated warnings and pleas for repentance that God’s people had ignored.

  

 

In Hosea’s time, the nation had been split into two kingdoms.  God used Ephraim to designate the northern and Judah to designate the southern.   He is equally unhappy with both.  After all that He has done on their behalf, after He has redeemed them, purchased them, pursued them, welcomed them back even in their sorry state, they still have not responded appropriately with any real gratitude or love or faithfulness.   Keep in mind that we are no different.   God has examined them (and us) and He has found that our response to Him, if it is love at all, it is only like the morning mist, the dew that disappears at the first hint of the sun.  God goes on in 6:6 to tell them exactly what He wants from them.  By the way, He wants the same thing from us.  Various translations tell us that God, rather than sacrifices, really wanted loyalty, steadfast love, mercy, and goodness from them.  When we show love, mercy, and kindness to our neighbors and our enemies, we are actually showing those things to God.  The point of 6:6 is that rather than burnt offerings, God’s desire was for His people to acknowledge Him, be acquainted with Him, to know Him, to have a relationship with Him.  That is really the heart of God.  He wants us to know Him, not just about Him, but rather to know Him personally.  I know about many people, but I don’t really know most of them.  That is unfortunate but not a tragedy.  However, only knowing about God when He really desires for me to truly know Him, and has done everything needed for me to know Him, is a tragedy of epic proportion.  “Oh, what can He do with me?” is a haunting question indeed.


Day Of United Prayer And Fasting For Metro Chattanooga Set For April 17

Local Chattanoogans To Join COVID-19 Global Fast On Good Friday

Easter Sunrise Service At Hamilton Memorial Gardens Cancelled


Several dozen churches and ministries, in partnership with the Chattanooga House of Prayer, are organizing a Day of United Prayer and Fasting for Metro Chattanooga on Friday, April 17. Residents ... (click for more)

Thousands of local Chattanoogans of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will “unite their faith once again” in a worldwide fast in response to COVID-19. President Russell M. Nelson ... (click for more)

Easter Sunrise Services at Hamilton Memorial Gardens, Chattanooga Memorial Park have been cancelled due to Coronavirus Pandemic. (click for more)




Church

Day Of United Prayer And Fasting For Metro Chattanooga Set For April 17

Several dozen churches and ministries, in partnership with the Chattanooga House of Prayer, are organizing a Day of United Prayer and Fasting for Metro Chattanooga on Friday, April 17. Residents are encouraged to participate in prayer and fasting (if they are medically able) and use the following prayer themes: 1. Pray for the people of God and everyone else in the Scenic ... (click for more)

Local Chattanoogans To Join COVID-19 Global Fast On Good Friday

Thousands of local Chattanoogans of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will “unite their faith once again” in a worldwide fast in response to COVID-19. President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has invited everyone, members and friends alike, to join together for a second time, to “prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic.” ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Georgia Coronavirus Cases Now Over 10,000; 369 Deaths

Georgia state health officials said Wednesday evening that another seven people have died from the coronavirus since Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 369. The confirmed cases are now over 10,000, at 10,189, up from 9,156 on Tuesday. Officials said 2,082 have been hospitalized in Georgia with the deadly virus - up from 1,899 on Tuesday. Whitfield County remains ... (click for more)

7 More Die Of Coronavirus In Tennessee; Cases Go To 4,362; Hamilton County Has 94 Cases With 49 Recovered

Tennessee now has 79 coronavirus deaths - up seven since the Tuesday report. Cases have gone up from 4,138 to 4,362. Officials said 449 people have been hospitalized in the state from coronavirus. The state report shows 94 cases in Hamilton County and nine deaths. Of the total cases, 49 have recovered and 27 are still in the hospital. County Mayor Jim Coppinger said ... (click for more)

Opinion

Joe Smith: I'm In Rhonda Thurman's Corner

I didn’t sleep well last night. It was one of those times when this old boxing coach was in a 10-round boxing match in my spirit. So many people are hurting right now. I have friends that have lost their jobs and are struggling to feed their families. My 11-year-old grandson tells me, “Pops I want to go to school.” I miss Sunday morning worship with my pastor and church family. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Shattered Nurses

At the massive Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospital on Sunday the night-shift emergency room nurses came in, went to the break room, and staged a “sit in.” This wasn’t about pay; it was about mismanagement. After four hours of bantering back and forth, the sit-in nurses were told “either get to work or get out!” The nurses got out. And why? “We had two nurses the other ... (click for more)