It’s a Love/Hate Thing

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A book of Malakai is where we’re at this week and we’re starting a new series on the book of Malakai. Malakai is a tough book. Uh, if you want to know how to find that easily, it’s the last book of the old Testament. So if you find the book of Matthew, go back one book, you’ll find the book of Malakai. And uh, I, I like that we’re engaging this book for a few reasons. One, uh, we’re not afraid to, to interact with difficult questions or what we might think are difficult questions. And you’ll see early on in this book what we’re even going to talk about today, we’re going to dive into a little bit of theological thinking in a, in a passage that, um, all of us have to wrestle with if we claim to be followers of Jesus and trying to see how to walk through that.

Uh, but the bigger picture of the book of Malakai is that this is a, a book written from sort of a 10,000 foot view. We just left the book of Jonah, finished out a great series on the book of Jonah. And Jonah is, we’ve seen, it was a very personal book. We’ve often thought of it about a fish and about the city of Nineveh. But really the theme of the book is about an individual and their relationship to the Lord, to the glory of God. And so it’s a very personal book. Malakai is more of a corporate way of thinking towards a people group living for God’s glory. And so he steps back and he shares with us this message. That’s the last message in the old Testament. When you started the old Testament, you’ll see that the books of the Bible are not categorized according to chronology.

They’re not written as, or they’re not put in our Bible as they were written. Rather, they’re placed together as, as forms of literature, genre. And so they’re, they’re encapsulated that way within our Bible. It just so happens the book of Malakai is most likely the last book of the old Testament period. And so with the end of this book closes God’s communication to the people of Israel, uh, in, in the old Testament, in written form. But Malakai has this large message for God’s people and making application to their life and what it is to live for God’s glory. I think when we consider making all things new, we just sing that song and making about making all things new. How God does that within us. There is joy in that. And there’s also struggle in our human nature with it because in order for God to make us new and to change our hearts, our lives, there’s a joy in walking with the Lord.

But there’s also some pain that comes with letting go of some things that, that we might be wrestling with that we placed before the Lord. And so God shares this message to encourage his people in a godly direction, not to take the path of least resistance, but to take the path that brings glory to God. And ultimately what he’s instilling in the nation of Israel, into the people of God is all about building a legacy. What does it look like beyond your own personal self? When God, when God works not just within you, but within a group, what does it look like to build a godly foundation among his people? If you think about it in your own life, you, you could be maybe the, the first person in your family that has come to know the Lord or maybe it’s a new thing for your family in general.

And so as a group now considering what it would look like, not just with this generation, but generations to come to, to build this godly legacy in the Lord, Malakai becomes that perspective from the old Testament leaning into the new [inaudible] and God’s about to stop his communication for Israel for the next 400 years. And this is, if with this last message, he’s going to share it really six small messages within this broader book of Malakai. And it’s sort of gives this idea that he’s gathering his children together to share these final words, to establish this legacy. When you look at the nation of Israel at this point, they’re not doing well their lives. Uh, as a, as a nation, they’ve sort of peaked at, at their, the greatness that they were under Solomon and, and, and since then they’ve seen the Northern tribes cared and kept. There was a civil war among Israel and then the Northern tribes are carried in captivity. The Southern tribes are carried into captivity and the Southern tribes come back from captivity after 70 years and they rebuild the nation, but they kind of are floundering and they’re in their present condition wondering where God is in all of them.

Somewhat gives us just this thought, leaning into this book that when believers sin and when they’re walking contrary to God, it’s not just disobedience of a servant to a master or subject to his King. It’s really even more personal than that. It’s the offense of a child against a loving father you can think of in your own life. The places that you have experienced the greatest heartache relationally are, are oftentimes the places where we’re the most intimate in relationships.

Because with great love, when you open up yourself to experience and lavish that love on someone else, which is a unconditional sacrificial. When you go through that one, when you experienced the pain in that relationship, and then it cuts you much deeper than, than just some random stranger. In fact, when the Bible refers to our interaction with God, when it’s contrary to his nature, it says in Ephesians four it describes it this way. Do not grieve the Holy spirit of God whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. This, this grieving, the Holy spirit. This is where theological theologians will go to, to, to, to teach that the Holy spirit is actually a person or has personality because he is one that can be grieved. But we know as believers, the spirit of God indwells us in the spirit as a part of the tri unity of God. And so when we walk contrary to him, it literally grieves the heart of God. And so when we talk about offenses against God, it’s not just serving or master rebellion, it’s of subject and King. It’s, it’s a child against the loving father. And that should provoke us having experience in what it’s like to fill the depths of those wounds and those relationships that are the most intimate provoke us in our lives rather than a walk contrary to God, to love him and want to love him as we have been loved. But Israel isn’t responding with this love.

And so when God begins his story in Malakai, the six messages that he wants us to know, the first message he really builds upon is this idea of love and what it represents to us. Because the Bible, the Bible says to us, we love him because he first loved us. That love is the foundation to the intimacy of relationships that inspires us to live in unity together. And so God desiring for the people of Israel to walk with him, communicates love. God desiring his people to walk with him, uh, communicates his love for us, that we in ourselves would receive bond with love towards him.

Love becomes the foundation to relationship even when God’s making those things new, knowing that sometimes it’s not always going to be happy experience. It can be joy filled. But it may not always be exactly what we want in our flesh because sometimes what we want to hold onto might be contrary to the nature of God.

But those things are much easier to let go of and walk with the Lord in when we are secure and our relationship with him. So when God gathers his people around for these messages, he builds on the foundation of love because he wants him to understand that some of these conversations will be difficult or hard, that it’s coming from a loving father desiring the best for you and your legacy.

When he starts the story, he uses a man by the name of Malakai. Hence we get the name. Unless you’re Italian, then you’re allowed to say Malachi here. Right? And he says in this verse one that the Oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malakai, the beginning of the book gives us indication towards God’s perspective. We’ve, we’ve talked about this often as a church, but when, when you have a name for an individual, oftentimes the name relates to identity. Malakai literally means my messenger. This is, this is one who carries my heart to share my message and he refers to it as an Oracle. Some translations use the word which I like. Better is is, is it oral can also be translated as burden. It’s the same way Nahum, Habakkuk open up their books. The the, the burden of the Lord is shared with you.

And the reason I think Malakai Nahum, Habakkuk other profits see the Oracle as a, as a burden is because they, they carry the heart and perspective of God towards the people. They see things as God sees them. They desire what the Lord desires for the people group. And, and when you see, when you see people contrary to what God’s desires for them, God’s best for their lives, not walking in light without it also gives you a burden. It gives you a burden and a desire to want to see in their lives the, the, the glory of God being lived out in the experience of what a relationship with God is all about. And so when Malakai shares this, he’s acknowledging that not only does God give us a vision and a love for people, but because we love people, it often carries itself in the form of a burden for the needs of people around us. And so Molokai is saying, look, I, I’m sharing this as a messenger of God carrying the same heart, uh, for the, uh, for the Lord toward you.

And then God opens up and in this message with, I think the most important phrase to all of these messages, the basis to understand all of them. In the end, he says, I have loved you. I have loved you. Says the Lord. This word for love that he expresses in these first six verses is in the act of tents. Meaning not only not only has he loved him, but as love continues to, to be extended to them. And so when God communicates this love, we an understanding love, unconditional and sacrificial, not thinking of its of its own self, but for the benefit of another. It becomes personal and intimate and caring and concerned and, and sacrificial and building any relationship. This becomes foundational. It means when someone loves you, they act and speak for your wellbeing. When it comes to God, we, we aren’t loved as people because we obey. Rather we obey because we are loved.

So this, this love is, is, is intended to demonstrate to us this security in the Lord. And I think when, when Malik has sharing this message, he’s going back from the beginning in Israel’s relationship with, with God and what God desired for them to know. And in Deuteronomy, Moses said this, as the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, he said, the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession. Out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples. For you were the fewest of all peoples. He’s saying to Israel, what I just said about love it. You don’t, uh, you’re not loved because you obey. You obey because you’re loved. He’s saying to Israel, Deuteronomy, it’s not because you were great because God is.

It gives us a certain level of security and understanding God’s God’s love towards his people. It’s not performance based, it’s out of his nature that we find it based. This idea of living in God’s love and responding with love has honestly been a struggle for people from the beginning of time and is a constant battle with our own nature within ourselves to live our lives for God’s glory. In fact, when you read in revelation chapter two verse four, the first church that it’s written to in revelation, the church of Ephesus, it says, I have this against you. They say all the good things the church does and then it says, I have this against you. You’ve left your first love.

This idea of loving God with all of your heart was the foundation of Israel. It’s the Shamal and Deuteronomy six just one chapter before this, it says, hear O Israel, the Lord your God is one and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, which is the same quote Jesus gave when asked him in Mark 12 verse 29 to 31 what’s the greatest command? And Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength in the love of others. What transforms us in our relationship with God begins in his love.

Now you would think, you know how this works in relationships. You know when you finally say this for the first time out loud, I love you. I hope they say it back. You know, just putting this out there. I said, you know, I love you. Thank you.

What do you think Israel’s response would be? God, I love you too. Right? But their response was, it was a little bit different than that. And they said, I have loved you, says the Lord, but, but they say, how have you loved us? I, you as a parent, if you’ve got kids, maybe you know how this, this interacts with, with children sometimes where, uh, rather than then feel the blessing of being loved, like it becomes an obligation of, of being owed. Meaning some of the things you do for your kids, it’s, it’s an expectation in their mind sometimes and not just an appreciation. You don’t have to have that you, whatever word you want to like video games, you think I’m obligated to give you those or whatever. I don’t know what did you get? Whatever you get for your kid. But, but there’s, there’s a difference and understanding expectation and obligation versus appreciation and blessed. And that’s where Israel is in the story.

Oh really? God, how have you loved us? And so if you look at the, the Texas, this passage, God’s saturating us in his love to share these six messages. The first thought is that he just wants us to understand that we’re loved just to pronounce that, to know where we stand. But, but, but second, he gives evidence to Malakai of his saving grace in their lives and the relationship he’s brought. So it’s not just a statement now, but now he’s going to build on the foundation. He’s going to answer the question for them. And so how have you loved us? And then he gives this this response and I want to tell you, well, let me just read it and then I’ll tell you was not Esau. Jacob’s brother declares the Lord.

Yeah, I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau and I have made his mountains of desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness.

You read that there’s something that I think pops out significantly to us. Like God says he loves someone and then God says he hates someone. And you get to sit there today and be like, Oh, they’re a big boy. How are you going to deal with that one? They’re squirmy, pastor, getting rid of the, the thought of a God loves and God hates. How does God hate people if he is such a loving God? Right? What are you gonna do about this passage? And I would just say, what are you going to do this if you follow Jesus? I mean this is a passage that you have to deal with in your life and I can give you an answer today, but the rest of the world is going to read verses like this and they’re going to want an answer to. So the obligation just isn’t on me. So how, how do you deal with a passage like this where we’re God says within this verse, okay, you want to know how I love you, I love you because I hate them.

What is that? How do you deal with that? Well, the first I would say is you got to start by understanding the terms. What does he mean by love and hate? I mean, when we use it in our, in our culture today, when we use the word love, hate, we think of of affection and an animosity like love isn’t a word of affection and hate is this word of animosity. I hear you right? You say passion, I love you. You feel it. Beautiful butterfly. How do you, how do you deal with this?

When God uses this, this term of love and hate, it’s, it’s actually a Semitic expression is Hebrew comes out of a a submitted dialogue. And so this is a, this is a Semitic expression. We have terms that we use in our own language. And so there’s a, a particular understanding they take into these words and rather than, than affection and animosity, the Semitic expression carries this idea of choice and rejection. So when you think about it in terms of choice and rejection, let me, let me just show you how it’s used in other portions of scripture because we don’t have to just go buy this or what I told you, for you to be able to understand what this passage is saying. It’s used in several places in scripture. In fact, Jesus used it a couple of times in Luke chapter 14 verse 26 Jesus says this, if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, I mean, let’s just say everybody and even his own life, he cannot be my disciples.

Do you think Jesus really wants, you’d hate your parents? I mean if we understand that the cultural context of the way that we use it, not in the Semitic phrase that that would have been stayed in Jesus is time. Like Jesus also teaches us to love everyone, including children, brothers, sisters, families. So is Jesus contradicting himself or is this maybe a not quite a, the understanding that the Semitic expression will be used here. In fact, Jesus did it like this and Luke 16 no servant can can serve two masters. Well he will either hate the one and love the other or else he’ll be devoted to one and despise the other. And so then he gives two masters example here you cannot serve God and wealth.

So Jesus is using this love hate expression again, but, but when he’s saying in this passage of scripture, what God isn’t saying to us is that money’s bad. The Bible doesn’t tell us money’s bad. In fact, it can be used for the glory of God. It should be used for the glory of God. What the Bible does tell us is that the love of money is bad cause we can only have one master. So God’s not telling us to love him and hate money but rather use that and the understanding that he is Lord of everything. The same thing with relationships in this passage of scripture and so and so. What is he saying in Malakai verse verses two and three like how are you going to explain this to somebody God loves and hates what God’s doing in this passage is expressing something about the intimacy of the relationship with Jacob. So the focus isn’t really Esau. The focus is Jacob and let me give you an example of how it works.

When you, if you were and you went before, whatever you want to call it, the altar or whatever and you said your marital vows to one another, you weren’t declaring in that, that because you were marrying one that you hated everybody else. Everyone doesn’t become your enemy because you choose one. But rather what it’s acknowledging is the intimacy that’s built within that relationship that differentiates it from all other relationships. And that’s what God is saying in this passage with Jacob and Esau is that with Jacob became this, this marital relationship before the Lord, this covenantal relationship that differentiated God’s relationship before all other relationships because Jacob was the one that God chooses. So there is this intimacy that is established and God’s people would come through here and ultimately the Messiah would come forth. The reason God’s saying this so pointedly one, because Israel is asking the question, how, how do you love us?

Well, we’re married, we’re in this covenantal relationship together. And so, um, I’m for you, but, but as you look at the context of the S, the story and how it fits in the framework, remember I share with you Israel. Israel was taken into captivity and so they’ve sent me years later, they’ve come out of this captivity and they’re somewhat wondering and, and their relationship with God. Like God reaffirm where we are. And you have, how do I know? How do I know that you care and that you love us? And so the Lord is pronouncing his position to the people of Israel coming out of the captivity in their relationship to him.

Oh, I want to be secure. You gotta I want to know where I stand. In fact, when you look at verse three and four in this passage, what God does is he actually quotes Jeremiah nine verses 10 and 11 and Jeremiah nine 10 and 11 it’s Jeremiah declaring the people of Israel being taken into captivity and what’s going to happen to the land. And now he uses that same verse not talking to Israel anymore, but now uses that same passage and in reference to ESOL because Israel is looking at the, the nation of eat, the Edomites of the people of Esau, and they’re saying, God, they were against us, they were against us and we went into captivity. And yet here they are. How can I be sure that you love me when they’re here? And God shares the message of Jeremiah nine 10 11 as it relates to the people of Esau, but even the book of Obadiah, the last half of Obadiah pronounces judgment against the eat of mites for coming against Israel. So it’s not, it’s it’s, it’s understanding the way that the language is presented. It’s understanding the reason why God sang it, but I think one of the most important things to look at in the context to really grab its meaning and God’s love being communicated to us, is to understand our condition.

When did you understand what God does for us as people? Really the primary question isn’t why would God use the word hate towards someone else? Really the question we should ask Scott, why would you love anyone at all? God, why would you care about Jacob in Deuteronomy seven verse seven and eight told her six and seven Israel year.

It’s not because you’re special or you’ve made yourself more lovable. In fact, you’re the weakest of all nations. We went through the book of Hosea not too long ago. And if you remember the story of Jose, it’s a picture of God towards his people. In chapter three of Hosea, Hosea is told to go by his wife out of slavery as a prostitute to demonstrate God’s love towards us as people. I mean, you look at the, the background to the individuals that God works through in scripture, like, uh, Abraham was a pagan. And then you’ll look at Jacob and Esau, like Jacob means deceiver. I mean, this is the discussion between loving Jacob hating. And so Jacob was a deceiver mama’s boy, and Esau was the one that went out and, and he wrestled with the animals and, and he hunted and he was hairy. And like if the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m not asking Jacob on my team, I’m picking Esau. You guys can have Jacob, right? And that’s the kind of lets a zombie apocalypse isn’t going to happen. But, but that’s, that’s the kind of, that’s the kind of guy that, that Esau was. So if you’re thinking, build a nation, it’s not Jacob man.

And yet seeing pictures like Hosea and Abraham and Jacob. The question isn’t God, why hate that? The question is rather, why did you love it all? You understand our own depravity as individuals before God. We’re not a bride to brag about without Jesus our our, our, our depravity. The Bible tells us, makes us enemies of God and Romans five, but yet God for us becomes someone who loves us unconditionally to the point that he literally gives everything to demonstrate that love. I mean, you think of us, how many of us would sell everything that we have? Jesus, the King of Kings become servant of servants and surrenders his life for you. How, how much, uh, Avast here this morning would give all that we have to demonstrate love towards someone else, only to find that person rejects. I think the Bible calls that blasphemy of the Holy spirit. That type of love is costly. It’s scandalous. But you know, you look at the, the people of Esau, the Edomites, I think God is disciplining them and punishing them as, as a nation. But I would share the same message with the individuals within that people group that I would share with anybody.

I mean, crush loves you. He’s given his life for you. It’s lavish grace upon you. You would turn to him and embrace him as Lord and savior. It’s given everything for you to walk with him. So even even though nationally, God’s bringing judgment individually, I think the way to God is the same for everyone.

The Bible doesn’t say whoever calls on the name of the Lord, but the eat mines. But whoever calls on the name of the Lord, revelation seven nine every tribe, tongue language and people worshiping the lamb is the picture of heaven. And so God shares this story in verses two and three not to really highlight ESOL because I, even though I think that we need to apologetically have an answer for that, not to apologize, it means to give a response or to show how to reason through certain things in scripture. And so we need to know how to reason through that with people to see what God’s communicating. But the whole point of it, it’s for Israel to understand how they’ve been lavished in God’s love brought into this community with the Lord so they can see the love of God stretching over them and then, and then he makes the statement in verse four which I think continues to build on it. He says this though, Edam says, we have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins. Thus says the Lord of hosts will come to that word in just minute. They may build, but I will tear down and men will call them the wicked territory, which is demonstrating their character as wicked people and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever and so God builds on this stuff further. This idea of Lord of hosts,

this, this phrase becomes significant to the book of Malakai because it’s used 24 times by by percentage. When you look at the, the, the, the few number of verses in the book of Malakai has only four chapters and you consider this phrase how many times it’s you use 24 times by percentage. It is used more in this book than any other book of the Bible. So what does it mean? God wants Israel to identify him this way in this passage and in their relationship towards him. When when you examine this, this phrase, Lord of hosts, this word for Lord is, is way, it’s, it’s the most intimate name of God I think you find in scripture. It’s the name that God gave to Moses in the old Testament. God said, who do I tell the people that you are

Yahweh and the ads, the sprays Lord of hosts, this idea of hosts, it translates as well as as army some translate as angelic army. I think. I think the the most powerful place that this, this phrase is used for us to grab the imagery that’s described as in Isaiah chapter six where Isaiah comes before the Lord of hosts and he says, woe is me. I am a dead man. Before someone is so powerful and it says that the foundations of heaven shook as the angels declared Holy, Holy, Holy. It’s the Lord of hosts.

Whole earth is full of his glory. It gives the picture of God who is Lord of all, surrounded by his army, this host of angels as a warrior prepared for battle. And so what he’s saying in this passage is that I want you to understand how much I am for you. It’s like if you, if you put it in terms of a father with his children though the wickedness around, but when it comes to the kingdom of the home, the father protects the gate and he keeps things out of there that would harm the kids. And so when you consider who God is, that that in our lives, we experience pain. We had experienced adversity, but with God, the Lord of hosts, none of it will ever be wasted. He’s saying to Jacob, Jacob, I know people have come against you, but let me tell you how much I love you.

I am the Lord of hosts. The way this in our relationships is as we experience love. Maybe, maybe, maybe you’ve had this happen or maybe I’m the only one, but yeah.

Some point if you’ve engaged in a heated discussion, let’s call it you on one side, someone you love on the other side, uh, and into that, you begin to realize, wait a minute, I’m going, what am I? What are we fighting for over this? We can work together on this guy. I am for you, not against you. I want to leverage what I am to, to, to help you and to be a blessing to your life. And so what God is saying in this passage is that, look, I’m not gonna argue. I mean Israel, when you see the book of Malik had asked question after question after question and guy that one point, it’s like, I’m exhausted by your questions because they’re asking question after question after question. It’s not because, because God is actually exhausted. It’s, it’s, it’s an expression that God’s using to get us to recognize.

And we’re asking a lot of questions because the motivation for their questions isn’t godly. I want to tell you, I think it’s a healthy thing to ask questions, but there comes a point when when you’re really not asking questions anymore, but you’re becoming accusative in your questions. Like if someone ever says to you, why are you going to be such an idiot? Like they’re not, they’re not really wanting you to answer that question, but rather they’re using the question to imply something about you. Right? And so that’s the way God sees their questions as he continues to badge in and badge in and badge in them. And so what God is saying here in the beginning is, listen,

I’m not arguing with you. I’m for you. Okay? I want you to know who I am. I’m professional buck, kicker, um, Lord of heaven’s army. I am for you. Yeah. I think it parallels well into the idea of God when he creates us in the beginning and creates man and woman. And he describes marriage there. He says, the two two shall become one flesh. Like it’s recognizing in our lives. The two will have things to battle, things to battle, and you can work against one another. In that or you can stop and recognize what God’s called you to in the relationship isn’t the battle together, but rather to you leverage your position for the unity together to accomplish the task before you. So what God is saying here is, okay, I am, I am with you, I am around you. I have the hosts of heaven, these angels. I am Lord over everything. And I’m not, I’m not here to argue. I’m here for your benefit and my glory.

I’m willing to get in the trenches and I’m going to fight for you and listen and, and struggle in. Well, God doesn’t, but you get the point, right. How have you left us? Look, what’s for you and the intimacy of our relationship?

I um, so I have two boys. One is ham who’s theme songs, probably more like Freebird than anything. Uh, he just kinda goes with the flow. The other one, it’s, I found out very early that he, he wears his emotions on a sleeve. He has a deep concern for people and he, with that, he, he wears it too much sometimes. Like he carries high anxiety. I remember when he was two, um, we played the song on an iPad of twinkle, twinkle little star, which is supposed to be a great song. You’re supposed to be with kids except for not in our home because the video we showed was up this little star coming down to talk to the aisle, singing twinkle, twinkle little star. And then he goes back into the heaven wherever in the heavens, scripture say and, and um, then he started, my kid starts crying and we’re like, what are you crying about?

Twinkle, twinkle little star. But he was so upset because the owl and the star were friends and they’d been separated. He could not, he couldn’t take it. Like, we were like, okay, no more twinkle star. I was like, this is this. Okay, the star is good. This is what he’s supposed to do in the sky in it. But he, he carries those emotions and he’s, he’s, he’s always thinking about people and the things he’s, he wants to do. And, and so he, he all the time in new environments he doesn’t like. And so there’ll be time where we drive. We were driving in the car together and he just opens up and shares things with me and just concerns he’s got and he says, he says to me that a few weeks ago, dad, I don’t want to drive. Cool. Okay. I just let that go, dad.

I can’t get a job either like talking, you’re, you’re six. What are you talking about? He was like that. I’m worried about it. I don’t know how. I don’t know how I’m going to find my way home. I don’t know how I’m going to, I don’t know how I’m going to get a job. I haven’t know. How do you do it though? Like he wants to say, it sounded like son, you’re six [inaudible] six and he’s like, I don’t, how am I going to work through this daddy? He really wants to know that. I was just like, listen, I’m going to, I’m going to let you in on something here that’s giving you a father. It’s giving you both a spiritual father and a physical father, and he’s brought me to your life and given you as a gift to me to walk that path with you and some when you’re ready. That’s where we’re going to really shoot a drive, not before and when you’re ready, that’s when you’re going to work. That’s what a father does. I know in our lives, some of us may not have our fathers anymore, but the blessing and all of that is that you’ve got a heavenly father. He’s the Lord of hosts. I can think of the first time when I became a dad, how am I going to do this?

I have not always had the example in front of me of what what a father is supposed to be. So when it comes to figuring that out, like, and then you realize that in scripture you see the love of the father communicated. I mean, Paul says this in first Thessalonians two as a father, deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, calls you into his kingdom and glory. I mean, it’s there.

What a father is and what a father represents and what a father’s supposed to do. He says this, God says this to Israel repeatedly in scripture. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.

What does this mean? There may be, there may be tough times ahead of us. God gives you the strength not just to survive, but to thrive, for you, to clean to this that he has for you and not against you. That the idea of love, love is for you and it uses its strength to bless you.

This isn’t something that we just understand about God, but it’s something when we come to understand about God, we also emulate in our lives as we communicate to other people.

I’m not going to use my position to leverage against you because love is for you and I want to use my strength to bless you. That’s what God means by the phrase the Lord of hosts. That’s what God calls me to as an individual that loves in this world. Love becomes the foundation. Anything healthy that we could build and understanding where we are relationally in those positions helps the trust to build cause sometimes there are places in life we need to change. We understand it comes from a position of love from the people interact with us. It helps us walk with them through the struggle.

I am Jonah

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