Hosea. (part 1)

There’s some things that I just don’t get about the Bible.  I don’t get how God would send “lying spirits” into the mouths of prophets, who in turn incite the king of Israel to attack a foreign nation.  I don’t get how God would command the Israelite army to kill Philistine women and children.  My degree is in theology, so I’m familiar with the sometimes roundabout ways that people explain these things like this in the Bible, but I can’t help but sometimes teeter between embracing the mystery of a God whose character is always good but sometimes does things that to me seem apparently bad, and refusing to accept unsatisfactory explanations and excuses for a God who is acting in obviously contradictory ways to what I know about His character…
So sometimes I just feel like Susan from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobewhen she asks Mr. Beaver whether Aslan is “safe” or not to which he responds: “safe?  Who said anything about safe?  ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.”  I trust that God is good, and that in spite of his goodness, justice, and righteousness, there is something that is terrifyingly mysterious about his holiness… his Wholy Otherness.  I still trust that he is ‘good,’ but sometimes in my desire for him to be ‘safe’ confines me to a particular definition of ‘good’ which in turn prevents me from seeing God for who he really is…
Needless to say, there are moments in the Bible that are meant to arouse feelings of anger while at the same time leveling me with truth so pure that anger turns to conviction, stubbornness turns to resignation, and I walk away of my bout with God being able to see Him with new eyes…
One such story, that changed the way I see God in such a profound way, that radically and irrevocably altered the way that I read all of Scripture was the story of Hosea…
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