(Taken from Milk and Honey)
I will avenge. – Hosea 1:4
The ‘I will’ of God dominates the book of Hosea. The phrase appears over seventy times in fourteen chapters. A few times, it appears in the negative ‘I will not,’ and tells us what God will not do. Mostly it is stated positively and tells us what God will do to and for His people.
There are two main classes of ‘I will’ statements in Hosea. The first class is judgmental and reveals God’s resolute determination to chastise His erring people. The second and largest class is redemptive and reveals God’s emphatic determination to restore His chastised people to the fullest possible experience of His love
God’s people need both of these divine ‘I wills’ in their lives. Both are rooted in God’s love, both reveal God’s love, and both result in God’s love being shed abroad in the heart. Without the ‘I will avenge,’ we would become complacent and cold. Without the ‘I will allure,’ we would give in and give up. Sometimes we need to hear the solemn ‘I will avenge.’ Sometimes we need to hear the soothing ‘I will allure.’ The Christian’s life oscillates between these two poles. Indeed, it might be said that we are constantly experiencing either ‘I will allure’ or ‘I will avenge.’
Here, Hosea is promising God’s vengeance on Israel for King Jehu’s brutal role in Ahab’s gruesome death at Jezreel (2 Kings 9-10). Though Jehu had obeyed God’s commission to execute, he had displayed trickery, butchery, and hypocrisy in doing so. And, in calling his child by the name of this site of murderous bloodlust, Hosea was reminding Israel that though this event had happened over a hundred years previously, it had still not been repented of, that the attitudes behind it were still prevalent in the land, and that God would punish them for this.
Dear Children, are you experiencing the ‘I will avenge’ of God? Are you under the rod of His anger? Are you mystified as to why? Could it be that there is a specific sin, perhaps committed many years ago, which you have not honestly faced up to and repented of? Or are some of the sinful attitudes behind such a sin still lingering and still poisoning your soul? If so, then be thankful for the ‘I will avenge’ of God. Mercifully, He will not leave you to perish or pine away in your sin.