Summary: This is a message about God and His heart towards us. It’s also a message for all followers of God – in terms of how to shape our hearts and responses in the face of rejection and pain.
A Covenant’s History ~ The Love of the Father
Scripture Text: Hosea 11.1-11
I want to tell you two stories. They are two stories that are almost-as-old-as the hills, …but these stories still capture the hearts and imaginations of people-everywhere.
The first story is one that you’re fairly-familiar with. It’s the story of a God who does some pretty-amazing and powerful-things. It’s the story that is found in our Bible.
There once-was-a-people who were tied-up in slavery. Day and night, …night-and-day they slaved away.
Building-buildings, …planting-fields, …harvesting-crops… These people were-treated like-machines ~ …to-their-owners, …they were important because-of what they made… …they did the work that the people-in-power wanted them to do. For several generations ~ …sons-and-daughters, …becoming moms-and-dads, …and moms-and-dads becoming grandparents ~ …one generation after-the-next was-spent planting-and-harvesting, …making-bricks and setting-stones. They were the machines-of-production.
And they accomplished some-pretty incredible things… The pyramids of Egypt are lasting-legacies ~ …not to the Pharaoh’s who ordered-them constructed; …but they are lasting-legacies to the slaves that poured-out their sweat-and-blood, …to raise-those-magnificent-structures out of the sands of Egypt!
Have you ever felt like your employer valued you, only-for what you could produce?... Of-course-you-have! Whenever an employer doesn’t care what’s goin’ on in your personal life, …whenever your boss pushes you to do more-and-more ~ as though you’re a tool, …or a machine that just needs a little more fuel to get more-out-of-it, …whenever your beliefs, …or your convictions are-ignored by those who sign your paycheck ~ …Those are times when you are simply-looked-at as a piece of the machine. And it doesn’t take long ~ if your employer treats-you like a cog-in-the-wheel ~ …it doesn’t-take-long before you wish for something-different, …wanting something-else.
But-ya-know… that’s the difference between us and those-in-slavery! We are free to go find other-work. We aren’t bound by shackles or watched-over by guards. We can put our resume out-there and see if someone is interested.
But, slaves can’t do that. They have to bite-their-tongue. They have to hunker-down. They have to put their shoulder-to-the-wheel and keep pressin’-on, because they have no-choice.
Those-people, that-were-slaves to the Pharaohs ~ …the ones who built the pyramids and other magnificent-structures in ancient Egypt ~ …they wanted to be free.
But they couldn’t put-in a two-week-notice; …they couldn’t close-up-shop; …they couldn’t strike a picket-line to protest unfair-working-conditions; …or post their resume on Monsters.com.