“Go, Love” ( Hosea 3: 1, Lexham ) by Carley Evans


And Yahweh said to me again,

“Go, love a woman
who has a lover and is committing adultery,
just like the love of Yahweh for the children of Israel.
Out in the world at large are two seemingly opposing views of God: one view is that God is so holy that He hates sin and desires to destroy all those who commit sin; the other view is that God is so loving that He loves sinners and desires to save all who commit sin. These two views of God are correct. The paradox is in the story of Hosea asked by God to marry an adulterous woman to show forth both sides of the same coin – God’s holiness and God’s love.
God calls sin what it is; that is, sin. God clearly tells Hosea the woman is guilty and to marry her despite her guilt.
God also loves sinners. God clearly tells Hosea that He loves the children of Israel despite the fact they are as guilty as the adulterous woman.
If God doesn’t hate sin, why does He punish Jesus, His only Son? If God doesn’t love sinners, why does Jesus leave Heaven to come to earth for that punishment? Why does God bother to die on the Cross unless He loves sinners?
And so, God calls us to two sides of the same coin. He calls us to hate and avoid sin while simultaneously loving and approaching the sinner.
“Go, love.”
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“Time Passed” ( 1 Peter 4:3, ESV ) by Carley Evans


English: Air Force Super Bowl Sunday Celebration

Tomorrow is “SUPER-BOWL SUNDAY” a day of big neighborhood parties, drinking, cheering, bickering, but hopefully not murdering as in the row between rival fans at a soccer game in Egypt recently.

Superbowl Sunday is the anniversary of the day my x-husband told me he was “giving up” on me with plans to abandon me and our children for another woman in the coming fall of 2004. Tomorrow, for me, is forever a blackened day — not a ruined day; rather a day with the shadow of a really big black eye.

“3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”

Of course, I’m not saying my x-husband is not forgiven. I’m certain God is fully capable of forgiving my x-husband of his adultery. In fact, I am saying that the past is the past. Tomorrow is not a day to bring back “what the Gentiles want to do,” not a time for “sensuality, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties.”

I happen to like football. I don’t idolize it or its heroes. Rather, I enjoy rooting for the underdog. This year, I don’t even know which team that is — I’ll figure it out as I watch the game. If I had to guess, I’d say I’ll be cheering on the NY Giants.

I’ll likely drink a beer, and eat some cheese and crackers. But I won’t be focused on the past or harboring ill-will toward the man I promised to love and cherish til the day I die.

“Drink From Your Own Cistern” ( Proverbs 5: 15, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Take pleasure in the wife of your youth,” writes the wise man to his son. “[She] should be for you alone and not for you to share with strangers.” (Proverbs 5:17) “Be lost in her love forever.” (Proverbs 5:19) Don’t “be infatuated with a forbidden woman or embrace the breast of a stranger.” (Proverbs 5:20) Do not defile the marriage bed, but keep yourself only to the wife of your youth.

Your prayers go unanswered, says the prophet Malachi. Why is this? Because you abandon the wife of your youth, “you act treacherously against her, though she is your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.” (Malachi 2:14) “So watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth.” (Malachi 2:15) For God makes you and your wife one flesh, seeking “a godly offspring.” (Malachi 2:15)

God speaks, “If [you] hate and divorce [your] wife, [you] cover [your] garment with injustice. Therefore, watch yourself carefully, and do not act treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16)

“For [your] ways are before the Lord’s eyes, and He considers all [your] paths.” (Proverbs 5:21) “Let your fountain be blessed, and take pleasure in the wife of your youth.” (Proverbs 5:18)

“Because They Suffer” ( Luke 13: 2, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Jesus warns that those who suffer are not worse sinners than others. He uses the example of eighteen who are killed when the tower in Siloam falls on them. He says these are not “worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:4) Then Jesus twice tells us that “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)

Sin is sin, says Jesus. We all alike are sheep gone astray, and unless we repent and rely upon the sacrifice of Jesus, we die in our sin.

A woman is caught in adultery, and the Pharisees bring her to Jesus for judgment. The Pharisees challenge the Lord to follow the Law of Moses, which calls for the woman to be stoned to death. They rhetorically ask,”So what do You say?” (John 8:5) Jesus writes in the dirt. When He stands, He says to the Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) He writes in the dirt again. One by one, the Pharisees walk away, “beginning with the older ones” until Jesus and the woman are alone. (John 8:9) Jesus stands up, looks at the woman and asks her where her accusers have gone. He wants to know if anyone is left to accuse her. And she says, “No one, Lord.” (John 8:11)

Jesus tells her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:11)

Repent, or perish; sin is sin; all alike are gone astray. And, Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you.” I can hear Him say, “Why would I condemn you? I came here to earth to save you, not to judge you. My blood covers your sin. You suffer, but not any more than anyone else. Come; turn and follow Me.”

“A Profoundly Forgotten Mystery” ( Matthew 5: 32, NIV ) by Carley Evans


Jesus says, “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

 

In our society as it exists today, adultery is rampant. So many of us — even Christians — are divorced for causes other than marital unfaithfulness, and remarried to another who may also be divorced for a reason other than adultery. Adulterers are ‘married’ to adulterers. And God’s Word calling for the marriage bed to remain undefiled continues to fall on deaf hearts. (Hebrews 13:4)

 

So few seem to comprehend the fact that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31) In the same manner that we become new creations in Christ, a man becomes one with his wife. In the same manner that the new creation can not become old again, so a man may not separate himself from the one with whom he first joined himself. How can one flesh become two again? When a man tears himself from his first commitment and takes another, he “hates his own body.” (Ephesians 5:29)

 

As Paul says, “This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32) A wonderful analogy – yes. But, also a true statement — as Christ and His church are inseparable, so are the man and the woman for whom he first left his parents.

“A Consuming Fire” (Hebrews 10: 26, HCSB) by Carley Evans


“It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10: 31)

God disciplines His children, not so as to destroy them but so as to sanctify them. True, vengeance does belong to the Lord; and He does indeed repay. His vengeance falls on His Son with full payment withdrawn on the Cross of Calvary. The stripes across Christ’s back are God’s vengeance against the sins of His children. There is no other sacrifice needed.

God promises, “I never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.” (Hebrews 10: 17)

“Let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12: 28 – 29)

The great King David commits adultery with Bathsheba, daughter of Elam and wife of Uriah the Hittite. She becomes pregnant. When King David is made aware, he arranges the death of Bathsheba’s husband, writing to Jacob: “Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest fighting, then withdraw from him so that he is struck down and dies.” (2 Samuel 11: 15)

Bathsheba mourns her husband, but is taken into David’s house once “the time of mourning ends.” She bears a son to David. “However, the Lord considers what David has done to be evil.” (2 Samuel 11: 27)

God uses Nathan to prick David’s conscience. Because of Nathan’s words, David repents. However, Nathan informs David of the consequence of this repentance and of this sin — “The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die. However, because you treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.” (2 Samuel 12: 13 – 14)

David pleads with God, “fasts, goes home, and spend the night lying on the ground.” He does not eat for seven days. But, the baby dies after a week.

David gets off the ground, washes and anoints himself, changes his clothing and goes to worship the Lord. After, he goes home and eats. David accepts the Lord’s judgment. He continues to serve his God.

“Our God is a consuming fire;” and “it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

“Neither Do I Condemn You” (1 Kings 17: 18, HCSB) by Carley Evans


The widow asks Elijah, “Have you come to remind me of my guilt?”

Elijah asks God, “My Lord God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow I am staying with by killing her son?” (1 Kings 17: 20)

Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answers. “Neither do I condemn you,” says Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8: 10 – 12)

God does not send His Son, Jesus to earth to condemn us, but to save us. (John 3: 17) “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the One and Only Son of God.” (John 3: 18)

In the land of Gennesaret, the people bring the sick on mats to Jesus when they recognize Him. “Whenever He goes into villages, towns, or the country, they lay the sick in the marketplaces and beg Him that they might touch just the tassel of His robe. And everyone who touches it is made well.” (Mark 6: 56)

Jesus does not come to remind us of our guilt, but to rescue us from it. Like Elijah, he does not come to kill our sons and daughters, but to heal them of their illnesses, raise them from the dead and bestow on them the gift of eternal life.