11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
5 “Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the Lord.
The reading for this week comes from Hosea 11:1-11, which records God’s love for His people, the Israelites.
The Book of Hosea shows the length that he was willing to go to demonstrate His Love even when they would turn from Him and run as far away as they could. Hosea the Prophet was the living illustration of God’s love for his people, with his wife Gomer, and her rebellious living.
In John 3:16-17 we again see the love of God lived out not only for the people of Israel but for all humanity. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son….not to condemn the word but to save it’.
I know that many people say that God is one to be feared and that is true, but his wrath and anger are tempered by His love.
He never gives up on us just as Hosea never gave up on his wife Gomer. God declared “How can I give you, Ephraim. How can I hand you over Israel” v8. Why – because ‘…I am God and not a man – the holy one among you…. they will follow the Lord”.
We need to come before God with a Holy fear – not just fear for He loves us, and His example of that love is found in the ultimate revelation of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour – who has power to prepare us a place, as God states vs 11 “I will settle them in their house.” (a home of Love), declares the Lord.
Eternal God may we be found in your presence doing your will by bringing your Kingdom into being and your will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven.
which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.