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God Compared to a Bear

“I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps,”  Hosea 13:8

This is the third simile God makes use of comparing Himself to a Bear.

Simile Parallel
The Bear is a very fierce creature, very terrible.  Two she-bears tore forty-two children at once.  His voice is fierce, saith one, he is fearless in his rage. Who is so fierce and terrible as the great God, whose anger is resistless, and whose just wrath, when provoked, is unavoidable?
It is observed, that the Bear will not willingly fight with, or set upon a man, unless he is forced thereunto. God doth not willingly afflict, fight with, or grieve the children of men, till their daring impudence, and oft-repeated provocations, force him (as it were) to do it.
No creatures (as naturalists tell us) love their young more than the Bear. No creatures that God has made, love their young or offspring, as God doth them that fear him.  “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”  Isaiah 49:15  His love exceeds the love of women to their tender babes.
The Bear is furious, and in a dreadful rage, when she is bereaved of her young, as appears by Hushai’s words to Absalom “thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field:” 2 Samuel 17:8.  “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly”  Proverbs 17:12.  She is fierce at all times, as was hinted before; but above all, if she be robbed of her whelps. O how furious is the Almighty!  How is he in an holy rage, if any hurt his poor children!  “he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”  Zechariah 2:8. What then will become of the bloody persecutors, that have not only bereaved God of his children, but cruelly torn them to pieces, bored out their eyes, roasted them alive, flayed their skins off, and burned them at the stake to ashes, and put them to all the horrid tortures they could devise?  If God will meet his own people, if they will sin against him, and provoke him, as a Bear bereaved of her whelps; how will he meet Babylon, bloody and merciless papists, and other cursed persecutors of his people?  “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”  Isaiah 63:4. “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike throughkings in the day of his wrath.”  Psalm 110:5.  “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”  Luke 18:7-8.  And come forth against their enemies, as a Bear bereaved of her whelps.

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