Feeling God’s heart

“…my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together” (Hosea 11:8).

I recently watched a movie called “Time Changer”. Although it is not a Hollywood quality production, it was well made and very moving. It dealt with the changing times, how society has changed for worse, morals are no longer rooted in God’s word, and believers are living in apathy. The plot, in short, so as not to spoil it for whoever wants to watch, is about a professor who writes a book in which he claims morals do not need to be explained according to God’s word. Meaning, stealing is wrong just because it’s wrong, but no need to say it’s wrong because God says so. A colleague of his sees a problem in such education, and sends him over a hundred years into the future. There, this professor sees the deteriorating society, how believers compromise over the truth, and more than that – when he is invited to go to a movie with a group from a church he visited, he is shocked when the name of The Lord is blasphemed on the screen. He runs out to try to stop the screening of the film and is viewed as crazy. When he conveys his feelings to the people from the church, they think he is legalistic and say they could have gone to worse movies. “It’s not that big a deal, it is only a movie”, they said. The movie goes on and the man is seen praying and feeling deep sadness over what his culture has become.

This man’s feelings, depict on the screen, what many prophets have said throughout the Bible, especially what Hosea said and felt.

Hosea was told by God to marry a harlot. Now this woman might have already been one when Hosea married her, or she might have become one after their marriage. Either way, Hosea suffered much from her behavior. He had a child from her, and then she conceived and gave birth twice more. Some scholars say it is possible the last two were not Hosea’s children, but a result of her prostitution. The Bible does not specifically say if that is the case. However, we can imagine that he might have wondered at times if they were, particularly if she conceived at the times she was out in the streets, betraying him.

How did Hosea feel? In the rest of the book, God describes the nation of Israel as one that had betrayed him, hurt him and turned her back on him. He has reached out many times with loving arms, yet Israel has chosen the idols and other gods instead. Hosea knew all too well the feeling God was conveying – a husband longing for his wife to return to him, willing to forgive her, hurting when others mock her, and wishing to wipe away her tears and disgrace.

Hosea felt God’s heart and his own heart was aching. In chapter 11, verse 8, we read God says “my heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together”. Here, God plainly shows His aching heart.

Our Lord Yeshua called out to the Jews of the time in Matthew 23:37-39 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’.” The Lord Yeshua’s heart was going out towards his people, full of compassion. Praise God for never leaving the nation of Israel and for loving the people whom He called with an everlasting love!

Do we feel God’s heart? I don’t know how many of us can say we know how Hosea felt. But do we care about what God cares? Do we love what he loves and hate what he hates? I know I still have a way to go to fully understand and feel as God does about things around me. I compromise, saying at times “it’s only a movie”, or “there isn’t anything we can do to change that”, or “it’s just a show”. But, what if we as believers stopped compromising and being apathetic and started acting as salt should act? Stopping corruption and deterioration. What if we said blaspheming on the screen is wrong and we didn’t go to see a movie just because that is in it, if we didn’t watch a show with homosexuals, even if it’s a reality show, because it is giving them a platform and showing it is okay and normal to do what they do? What if a movie is about other gods – is it still just a movie? What if we stopped compromising on the way we dress, the language we use, the attitude we have towards one another, the way we interact with each other? What if we showed more love, compassion and reflected God’s love to our brothers and sisters in Messiah Yeshua?

What if we were different and started to make an impact? I’m not perfect, and do not claim to be. I am a work in progress. But, for a long time, I have had this feeling – what if I felt God’s heart? What would change first of all in me? And then, what can I do to change society around me? Do I ache as I see mockery on the streets, in schools, on screen? Do I long for my people to return to the loving hands of God, who’s heart is turning within him?

The man in the movie was called legalistic. That is not the question here. It is whether or not we follow God’s word. Period. I pray that I will feel God’s heart. That requires drawing closer and closer to him. I want that. And I hope that we as a nation, the nation of Israel, will return to the loving arms who raised them, and call out to our Lord Yeshua and that the church will strive to keep itself as a pure bride, without blemish, waiting for her groom.

© Hannah Kramer