Can God be brokenhearted? What breaks his heart? - Brokenhearted - TouchPoints

Can God be brokenhearted? What breaks his heart?

Ezekiel 6:9When they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how hurt I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for their idols. Then at last they will hate themselves for all their detestable sins.

Although God does not experience pain or suffering like humans do, God speaks of himself as brokenhearted when his people are unfaithful to him: when those who have no reason to turn away and no reason to pursue alternate gods do so. He waits for us to be appalled by our own behavior and return to him.

Isaiah 63:9-10In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he became their enemy and fought against them.

The rebellion of God’s people broke God’s heart. God kept his promises and allowed his warnings to come true. But even as the grieving God came at his people like an enemy, he provided an open door for reconciliation.

Isaiah 53:3He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

In Jesus, God experienced the fullness of human grief. More than half a millennium before Jesus came, Isaiah told God’s people about the suffering servant God would send. God’s servant would be exposed to all the ugliness and pain that comes when humans reject their God and choose sin. The emotional pain Jesus experienced should make us appreciate his forgiveness of sin all the more.

John 11:33-38When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.

When Jesus came to Bethany that day, he witnessed believers and unbelievers grieving with no hope. They thought Jesus could have or should have done something to prevent Lazarus’s death, and they assumed Jesus could do nothing now that Lazarus had died. Their faith had reached its limit. Jesus was saddened by his friends’ lack of faith, but he was brokenhearted at the offense of death itself. He knew that only his own death could forever loose the bonds of death from those who followed him.