God’s Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Hosea 11:1-11: God’s love for Israel is compared to a parent’s love for a child. A time of exile is predicted prior to the people being reconciled to God.
God’s Love for His Rebellious People
1 The Lord says,
“When Israel was a child, I loved him
and called him out of Egypt as my son.
2But the more I called to him,
the more he turned away from me.
My people sacrificed to Baal;
they burned incense to idols.
3Yet I was the one who taught Israel to walk.
I took my people up in my arms,
but they did not acknowledge that I took care of them.
4I drew them to me with affection and love.
I picked them up and held them to my cheek;
I bent down to them and fed them.
5“They refuse to return to me, and so they must return to Egypt, and Assyria will rule them. 6War will sweep through their cities and break down the city gates. It will destroy my people because they do what they themselves think best. 7They insist on turning away from me. They will cry out because of the yoke that is on them, but no one will lift it from them.
8 “How can I give you up, Israel?
How can I abandon you?
Could I ever destroy you as I did Admah,
or treat you as I did Zeboiim?
My heart will not let me do it!
My love for you is too strong.
9I will not punish you in my anger;
I will not destroy Israel again.
For I am God and not a mere human being.
I, the Holy One, am with you.
I will not come to you in anger.
10“My people will follow me when I roar like a lion at their enemies. They will hurry to me from the west. 11They will come from Egypt, as swiftly as birds, and from Assyria, like doves. I will bring them to their homes again. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Today’s Key Verse: Hosea 11:9b
“I, the Holy One, am with you. I will not come to you in anger.”
What verses in today’s reading speak of God’s compassion? In what ways does God express love for the people, even though they are rebellious? In what ways have you experienced God’s love?
Loving God, like a parent you want the best from me. You love me even when I make mistakes and stray from your teachings. Help me as I mature in faith so that I may become the person you call me to be. Amen.
Hosea 11:12—12:14: Israel and Judah are condemned.