God said: I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel; I will no longer show love to Israel; you are not my people, and I am not your God. NIV
Harsh words. Hard words to associate with a kind and loving God. These are the types of passages which give rise to hellfire preaching.
But we take that route at our peril. God is so loving that he gave us the power to make decisions and has allowed us to suffer from those decisions. Instead of saying to king Jehu, “Don’t worry about that mistake, I’ll make it disappear;” God said, “You must accept your punishment, you and your whole nation whom you have led away from Me.”
We are fond of saying that all our sins will be washed away in the blood of Jesus, but are confused when we suffer. “But God, I accepted Christ, why do I have to have cancer?” There is no free pass in this world. We all suffer because of our collective sins.
Still, we do not even have to move on to the New Testament to see the power of God at work. After saying, I am not your God, He says, Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ NIV
Because God had a plan, one He put into action even before He created the universe. He and His Son talked about what to do when sin wrecked the beautiful creation of God. The Son said, ‘let me stand on the judgement platform in the place of those who will let me do it.’ What a plan. You would think the perfect God could come up with something a little less extreme.
But it is what Jesus told us. So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. NIV
Of course, when he says, ask and you will receive, he did not mean winning the Publisher’s House drawing. He did not mean an instant cure of a dread disease. Everyone who asks to live in and with Jesus receives. Nothing else really matters.
In Christ, you were circumcised, not by any physical act, but by being set free from the sins of the flesh by virtue of Christ’s circumcision. You, so to speak, shared in that, just as in baptism you shared in his death, and in him are sharing the miracle of rising again to new life—and all this because you have faith in the tremendous power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. Phillips
Be righteous and do good.