"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Mt. 23:37).
Many, after reading the Old Testament, conclude that God is distant, aloof, and more than a little scary. He is not. The problem lies not with God--He is willing-but with man: "but you were not willing."
The Bible often uses word pictures to describe God's love and care for His people. Today's reading begins with such a picture of the longing heart of God for His people--a hen who gathers her chicks under her wings. A mother hen, sensing danger, clucks fussily and spreads her wings to alert her chicks to hide themselves beneath her wings.
Three truths about God's heart for His people emerge from this analogy:
This astonishing picture--the king weeping over an errant city, longing to restore it to Himself--perfectly displays the heart of the Father toward His own children and their hardness toward Him. Chicks respond willingly to the mother hen's warning, while those created in the image of God rebel against His good heart toward them.
To know the heart of God in intimacy (not just head knowledge) is to know His heart for people and to run, unafraid and boldly, into His outstretched arms.
Consider the stories in today's reading regarding the scribes and Pharisees, and describe how the practices of the scribes and the Pharisees violate Jesus' command to "love God" and "love your neighbor".
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The 365 Daily Devotion, written by Iva May, is a brief devotion drawn from the day’s reading of the One Year® Chronological Bible delivered to your email. Each daily devotion concludes with several questions that strengthen reading engagement.