And they do not cry to Me from their heart when they wail on their beds; for the sake of grain and new wine they assemble themselves, they turn away from Me. – Hosea 7:14
Hosea, God’s prophet, here describes Israel’s response to God’s judgment upon their continual sin. Rather than seek God in repentance, the Israelites just kept shedding tears of sorrow before their pagan idols. Amid their wailing, they could not (or simply refused to) see that their own actions were the source of their maladies.
Once again, we should see ourselves in the story of ancient Israel. How often have we chosen to lay awake at night (feeling sorry for ourselves) when instead we should have been repenting and asking God for His mercy. As Christ-followers, we must continuously search our hearts for misplaced motives and ungodly attitudes. While weeping before the Lord is certainly acceptable (God will not despise a broken and contrite heart, Ps. 51:17), we must be certain that our tears express godly sorrow rather than a whining or complaining spirit.
We may not get our way in this world, but our sovereign God will always have His way in our lives. Cry, yes, but also be sure to cry out to God.
Immanuel, God with us in our nature, our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and second advent splendor. – Charles Spurgeon
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
View all posts by Dr. David Pope