(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)
“I will not carry out My fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Israel. For I am God — and not man; the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath!” Hosea 11:9
Thus spoke the Lord, when assigning a reason for not executing the fierceness of His wrath upon guilty and rebellious Israel. A God can do — what a man cannot; and a God can bear — what a man cannot. God always acts in accordance with the grandeur,glory, and greatness of His nature.
Every thought of His heart,
every word of His mouth, and
every work of His hand —
is worthy of Himself!
If we bear this in mind, it will . . .
fortify our minds,
strengthen our faith,
and comfort our souls.
Why does God not cut down the wicked immediately? Because He is God — and not man.
Why does He chasten His people so greatly, and allow them to suffer so much? Because He is God — and not man.
Let us meditate on this declaration of our God for a few moments.
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I am infinitely patient, and not soon moved to take vengeance upon My sinful and rebellious creatures!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I am ready to forgive, and receive back the returning prodigal to My heart and home!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I receive great sinners, taking to My heart, and putting among My children — such despicable ones as no one else would notice or regard!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I pardon again and again, not only first offences — but repeated transgressions, forgiving and forgetting them forever!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore bear with such numerous affronts, such gross ingratitude, such inexcusable conduct — in My own people!
“I am God, and not man,” and therefore I invite, entreat, and beseech such base backsliders to return unto Me, and prove the power and freeness of My forgiving love!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I save freely, fully, and forever — such degraded, depraved, and desperate sinners, to the praise of the glory of My grace!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I remain faithful to My promises and covenant engagements, amidst all the changes and faithlessness of My fickle people!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I give such rich, costly, priceless gifts — to the poor, destitute, and unworthy sinners!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I hear, accept, and answer, such poor, imperfect, and worthless prayers — which, no one else could tolerate, much less approve!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I work such wonders — wonders in providence, and wonders in grace; wonders in the world, and wonders in the heart!
“I am God — and not man,” and therefore, I have prepared such mansions, and will confer such a glorious kingdom — on sinners who have no claim upon Me, nor the least reason to expect any good thing from Me!
Yes, because He is Jehovah, and changes not — therefore we poor, sinning, changeable creatures are not consumed!
Believer, to you the Lord says, “I am God — and not man!” Therefore expect from Him as God — and act toward Him as God! He can do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that you can ask or think! Do not measure His heart by yours — but remember that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His thoughts higher than your thoughts, and His ways than your ways!