As a book lover, I read books from cover to cover; however, lately, I have found myself uncharacteristically lingering on Acknowledgements pages. Such simple pages with so few words, yet so fraught with meaning and gratitude and humility.
As a mom of three boys and the wife of an avid sports fan, I also find myself watching entirely too many post-game interviews. I usually tune out until or unless I hear an acknowledgment from the interviewee. After an earnest acknowledgment I am locked in.
Why the sudden sensitivity to acknowledgements?
A few weeks back, during my Sabbath time, the Lord kept bringing me back to the phase, “Acknowledge me.” Since then, I cannot get the phrase out of my mind.
It all began in a rereading of the book of Hosea. As I looked for overarching themes in each chapter, what began to stick out was the agonized cry of a long-ignored and unacknowledged Lover God. With the all the beauty of a poet and anger of a forgotten lover, the Lord indicts Israel for giving credit to those to whom credit was not due.
She said, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.” Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Hosea 2:5-7.
Thorn bushes and walls sound a little extreme, don’t they? Yet, the Lord lets us into why He is planning intricate ways to quarantine and thwart the ones He loves. Underneath these seemingly irrational and irate words, He shows us the hurting heart of a loving God.
She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold -which they used for Baal…She decked herself with rings and jewelry and went after her lovers, but me she forgot. Hosea 2:8 & 13.
The theme of acknowledgment (or the lack thereof) continues throughout the book of Hosea.
In Hosea 4: 1, God cries out in righteous frustration, “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgement of God in the land.”
In Hosea 6:3, repentant Israel says resolutely, “Let us acknowledge the Lord, let us press on to acknowledge Him.”
God continues the thread in Hosea 13:4 & 5.
But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”
To be acknowledged, to have His creatures recognize and express gratitude for who He is and all He has done, seems to be the heart cry of our Lover God.
Before the Fall, man could not help but acknowledge God. After the Fall and apart from intervening grace, man cannot and will not acknowledge God.
There was One who acknowledged God the way He longed and deserved to be acknowledged; however, He was ignored and His cries went unacknowledged that we would once again have the ability to acknowledge our Maker.
One day we will be unable to leave God unacknowledged; however, until then, we must work at becoming again a noticing people, an God-acknowledging, thankful and dependent people.
There are so many things that I tend to make Christianity about: quiet times, acts of service, prayer, obedience. While all these things have a rightful place,they begin with a simple acknowledgement of God.
As I have been running errands or driving carpool or exercising, I keep hearing the Lover-Lord’s cry, “Acknowledge me.” As I have sought to learn how to acknowledge Him consistently in the tiniest corners of my day, I have been finding joy in the midst of hard days.
Acknowledgment is the simple doorway to leads us to adoration and obedience.
He waits to be acknowledged, noticed, thanked and adored. May He give us all that He commands of us.