Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all. (Hosea 7:2 NLT)
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. (Hebrews 10:16-18 NIV)
What a contrast between these two passages. Hosea speaks for God and God says that while He desires a loving relationship with Israel all He sees is sin. The people He desires to love don’t even acknowledge that He exists. When God does get their attention, it is generally with some form of discipline. Sinful and selfish people do not see the love behind discipline and their image of God becomes distorted. To them, if God exists, He is a mean and angry God. People who see God in this way find it impossible to be grateful for a God who is watching.
I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that many people, including many believers in Jesus, view the God of the Old Testament as having a different character than the God of the New Testament. I think this is because it isn’t just God who hasn’t changed. We haven’t changed either. We are still sinful and selfish people. If God had not done something to change the situation we would be both helpless and hopeless.
As Thanksgiving Day approaches we can be grateful for both hope and help. We have hope because when God looks at those of us who have accepted the gift of Jesus He sees His loving and obedient Son rather than our sin. We have help because accepting the gift of Jesus brings with it the promise of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
For my grandchildren:
God is watching over you. Thank Him that He sees everything you do and loves you anyway because of Jesus.