GOD WILL NOT PLAY PRETEND
She conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.” Hosea 1:9
A third child is born to Hosea and Gomer and, once again, God gives him a name with a stigma. The child’s name is to be, to Israel, another wake-up call. His name bears a message from God. “You are not my people and I am not your God.” I do not believe this means that God disowned Israel. He merely stated a fact of how things were from Israel’s perspective. He did not reject them. They rejected Him! The name was not so much a penalty for their sin as it was a simple stating of the fact.
The people of Israel had proven that they didn’t want to be the people of God. They had long turned their backs on Him to worship the gods of the Canaanites. We must remember that God never plays games. He will not allow us to pretend to be His child while He pretends to be our Father. Either we are his sons and daughters by way of our heart’s commitment and the kind of fruit we produce, or we aren’t. Most people can’t fake it. How a person lives is a dead giveaway, revealing to others whom they serve.
Even still, a small minority are able to deceive. They are wolves in a pack of sheep. We are told that one day, Jesus will say to each one, “I never knew you!” Whom He rejects may surprise us because they perfected the art of pretension. Jesus was never fooled though, not for a minute. And, if we stay under the shepherd’s crook and listen to His voice, we will grow to discern as He discerns.
In spite of Israel’s prodigal heart, God would eventually embrace them again. They would come home and repent. God, as a parent, knows how it feels to be disowned but He also knows the joy of a wayward child returning to the fold. He would have us be authentically His today, before Him, before mankind. We often fool others, but never God.
You know me through and through, even though I’ve been dishonest at times. I feigned good works to protect my fragile ego. God, I praise you that You are my God and I am Your child. I own you in public as well as in private. In Jesus’ name, Amen