Hosea 11: 1-11
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
“Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.
“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 Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man–I will not come in wrath. They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle in their homes,” declares the Lord.
God had redeemed his people from under their yoke of bondage in Egypt; but now they have become like rebellious children, turned to idols, and will not repent. God is God and not like man; he will have compassion on his people and not act in fierce anger. God did not give up on mankind, he sent his Son Jesus Christ to provide forgiveness and healing to all who will come unto him in repentance. God will come and live with his faithful children.
Father we live in a world filled with idols; help us to have eyes to see; help us to hear your voice, to center our lives around you and your word. We desire to be your obedient children. Help us to show the same love and mercy that you have provided for us to all the world around us. We ask and thank you in Jesus’ name, amen.