God’s Passion

Michael Beck

“But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.” (Isaiah 43:22-24)

The prophets of Israel were advocates for their God. They communicated how the Lord felt. Through them we learn that the God of Israel is a very passionate being. He is not the Unmoved Mover of Greek philosophy. He is affected and moved by all He sees happening upon the earth. Men, and especially His own people, have the power to give Him either intense joy or sorrow.

In one wonderful passage we read of the giddy joy the Lord has in His own. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) God is love, but He also wants to love. He wants to find a people who are His peculiar treasure, who He can delight in. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people” (Psalm 149:4)

God also wants His people to take as much pleasure in Him as He has in them. He wants us to be as excited about Him as He is about us. That we are not is His lament and sorrow. He tells the weeping prophet to go cry in the ears of His people that He wistfully remembers the kindness of their younger days, the love His new bride once had for Him when she went after Him in the wilderness. (Jeremiah 2:2)

Whether it was His people Israel, or His church, the Lord longs for us to long for Him. He still laments when we leave our first love. He sees when we are only going through the motions. He wants us to draw near to Him with our whole heart, doing the “first works” that sprung from excited love. When it is anything less than loving Him with all of our heart, He laments, through the tears of His prophets.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.