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To Know God

Hosea 2

The judgment and blessing of God are measured to His purpose. God not judge from a senseless rage, and He does not bless without purpose:

Psalm 104:24 (NASB95)

O Lord, how many are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all;

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom of God!” Romans 11:33. His every decision, from the fall of the sparrow to the fall of an emperor are purposed by the unsearchable wisdom of God.

 

God has promised that all things work together for good: God will bring honey from the carcass of a lion (Judges 14:8). That all things work together for good is not some vague statement that I will get a better job when I have lost one; it is not my cancer will bring about a cure. God’s goodness does not track our desires.

 

Yet, the goodness of God always works the purpose of God. Think carefully of the promise:

Romans 8:28 (NASB95)

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to Hispurpose.

There is the purpose of God embedded in the promise of God. What then is that purpose to which He calls? What is the end of this goodness of God? To be conformed to the image of His Son. Rom. 8:29. The goodness of God is shape, to form, to break and remake until the image of Christ is stamped upon the soul. The Son is so dear that the Father will see that image upon all the people called according to His purpose. What greater goodness could there be than to be made lovely to the Father?

In Colossians 3:10, Paul that the redeemed are being “being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” There is a true knowledge of God that works upon and forms the redeemed: that knowledge of God makes one new; it stamps the image upon the soul

God has a purpose a plan in in the life of the redeemed: God seeks to remake them into the image to which they were called. God in his goodness seeks to conform all the people of God to Son of God. And as we gaze upon the glory of the Son of God, we are transformed into that glory. 2 Cor. 3:18

Where then will we look to see this glory? How is the glory of the Lord displayed? Will certainly the creation. Ps. 19:1 But there is a place in which the glory of God shines more brightly than elsewhere: in the Son. Hebrews 1 tells us that while God spoke previously through the prophets, in these last days He has spoken in His Son. That Son is the radiance of the glory of God. There is true glory of God shining with unvarnished beauty and brilliance.

And where would we look to see this glory? We could dare to look to where the Son of God is seated at the right hand of majesty on high – there he dwells in unimagined brilliance and glory.  For it is in Jesus Christ that the glory of God is displayed to all creation.

But the glory of God will not be seen by earthlings grasping at heaven. There is a view of this glory – a view beyond all delight – but that view can only be seen when one has passed the strait gate, when one has walked the narrow way.  You can see the majesty of the world from the top of Mount Everest – but only when you have climbed the mountain. And you will see Christ in his beauty; but only when you have passed the narrow gate.

That narrow gate passes through the cross of Christ and the tomb of Christ: death comes before resurrection, and resurrection before glory.

We come to the knowledge of God through the knowledge of Christ. Think of that most famous of all passages in the Bible, John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son ….

Do not pass over the verb: He gave. The love of the Father is seen in the given Son, the Son delivered over to death for us all; the Son delivered over to death for our sin. We cannot see the love and glory of God outside of that terrible sight of our sin hung upon Christ, our sin which he bore in His body on the tree.

It is the good purpose of God that we should know God. It is the good purpose of God that we should be conformed to the image of the Son. But that knowledge is found in a gold mine, deep in the dark; that glory is found in the Valley of Humiliation; that glory is found in passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.

But it is there, as the prophet Hosea says, that we will find the door of hope:

The Valley of Achor, the valley of trouble, the valley of judgment where the stones piled upon over Achan’s sin, there in the valley of Achor is the door of hope:

I will give her  — says the Lord –

The valley of Achor as a door of hope.

Hosea 2:15

Here look upon judgment, come look upon sin and its sad end, come here to the valley of Achor and I will open up a door of hope. Here in the narrow way, I will lead you out to the knowledge of God.

It is this passage from a knowledge of sin – a knowledge which Israel did not realize – that leads to a knowledge of God. That is the judgment and promise of this second chapter of Hosea

[the movement of the passage is from judgment, brought about because she does not know and has forgotten God to a blessing which is to know God and to say, You are my God! There is a movement of increasing despair of ourselves, which leads us finally to a knowledge of God]

{two quotes to be used later}

As the Spanish theologian Juan de Valdes (ca. 1509–1541) discovered, the only true knowledge of God is the knowledge of Christ, and this presupposes the experiences of the knowledge of sin through the law and the knowledge of grace through the gospel.156 Although it jolts what we might intuitively suppose, our experience not only of guilt but also of condemnation and despair is integral to knowing God. But of course there is no gospel at all if there is no redemption, and it is to this that Hosea now turns.

Duane A. Garrett, Hosea, Joel, vol. 19A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), 87.

 

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.