These chapters not only take us to the heart of God's controversy with His people but to the depth and pathos of the very heart of God. They speak not only of the depth to which Israel had fallen and the terrible destruction and exile that was their destiny, but also of God's original delight and joy in His people. When we see the depth of God's feeling towards His people, it makes their apostasy to pagan fertility cults all the more unfathomable. We may struggle at the horror of what Israel had to suffer for her sins but we should not doubt the depth of God's love for His people, nor His overflowing compassion in restoring the nation back in the land. It is this holy love that finds, no, plans from before creation, the way to win the heart of a sick and incurable humanity, not by softening His wrath on our deceit and idolatry but by pouring it out on the Son of His love so that we might know the depth to which the Father would go to restore us to Himself.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.