Tender Care

Isaiah 40: 11

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs, and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

This is a beautiful passage. I am sure you agree, but can we receive the depth of it and the tenderness of it? The NIV version is, perhaps, even more tender. The latter part says he, “carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

This verse isn’t actually speaking of sheep, is it? It is an analogy. God cares for us the way a shepherd cares for the sheep. God gathers his children to his bosom and carries them (us) close to His heart. In this we see the nurturing aspect of God. It seems especially evident in the last phrase, “He gently leads those that have young.” Look at how lovingly He cares for mothers. We see the same kind of nurturing care that we associate with mothers, in the person of God the Father. That is as it should be and we need to see Yahweh in this light.

In the world, we allocate certain characteristics and behaviors to one of the genders. Then, because we call “God” Father, we subtract from His nature those things we associate with women. As we come to know Yahweh in truth, we find that we have made “Him” in our image. God is neither male nor female. In heaven there is neither female nor male (Galatians 3: 28). What this means for us is that whatever we need, it is in God. If you need a mother “He” is that. All kindness, gentleness, love and nurture come out of Yahweh. Our language requires a pronoun and those are divided by gender, but God cannot be divided by mere language. He is all in all. He is everything we need. He is tender and caring but He is also a strong fortress. Don’t let culture or language steal any part of Yahweh from you.

Saved from Wrath

1 Thessalonians 5: 9

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It surprises me that there is still confusion over God’s feelings towards us. Even people who have John 3: 16 memorized still talk about God’s wrath and about how He is going to pour out His wrath upon us. Well, this verse would seem to lay aside that perspective in favor of a God who loves us and intended to save us, even to save us from Wrath.

God is love (1 John 4: 8) and everything He does is from the vantage of love. Our crimes demanded punishment but because He wanted to spare us from our just due, He sent Jesus to take all of the punishment, all of the wrath upon himself. We have been pardoned. The jail cell doors are thrown open wide. We are free. We are excused from the prison cell and invited into the throne room. God saved us from the sentence levied against us by condemning Jesus. Therefore, we are no longer destined to or for wrath but rather our destinies are salvation, love, hope and peace through the grace of our Father and the triumph of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Love is in the house. Love demands kindness, not wrath. Love demands gentleness. Let’s get a revelation of our Father. He is gentle and kind, not angry. Any anger He had, He poured out on Jesus. Sometimes I think we do “Him” a disfavor by attributing the male pronoun to Him because the Bible reveals that He is male and female. Were we able to comprehend Him in His fullness, I think it would be easier for us to attribute His nurturing nature to His every thought and gesture. He is the strong warrior who protects us from the storm but He is every bit the tender soul who cuddles us in warmth and affection. He is the most emotionally expressive person you will ever meet. In fact, He is so effusive with His declarations of love that He will embarrass you.

You were not destined to endure anger or wrath. You were and are destined for greatness in Christ Jesus through the love and salvation bought for you at the cross and in truth, at the dawn of time. You are destined to sit on your heavenly parent’s knee and receive comfort and the outpouring of incomprehensible love. Receive love and abandon fear of wrath. Receive the fullness of Salvation.