The weather is finally giving us a glimpse of warmer days and sunny skies. Every few days we seem to get a “tease” of what is coming. As spring arrives it is time for some spring cleaning. Yesterday, I began with tackling a bookshelf that had been cluttered to the max over the winter. On one shelf I found a large family photo album. The next hour was spent looking through every page and feeling the deep love that I have for my children. It was hard to put it down and move on. The memories lived on in me throughout the day.
The photos were of my children when they were small. Oh what dreams and hopes I had for them. At young ages, the sky was the limit and I as a young mom I dreamed they would have fabulous futures in front of them.
As children mature, mistakes are made and we as parents are humbled. Some mistakes can have catastrophic consequences. But a parents’ love never fails for their child. God had the same problem. Today’s reading, Hosea 11:1-11, is a beautiful passage of God’s love for his children. In this passage we read of all God has done for his children, Israel. The more God called them, the more they turned from him.
Hosea uses his writing to try and persuade the people of Israel to reform their ways, to return to God. In Hosea 11, he uses the language of the love of a parent for her children.
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Israel called to the Egyptians even as Israel was leaving them. They kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the hand, but they never knew that I healed them.
God had been with Israel from the beginning. Loving them, providing for them, healing them, and leading them. He was faithfully leading them as their father, but they forgot what it meant to be His child.
We can easily imagine ourselves, and our children in Israel’s shoes. We have so much in common with these people. We do not live as we should live. We forget what God has done for us. We ignore the hand who heals us. The amazing part of this story is the faithfulness of God even though we fall short over and over again.
Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows.
While we are like the Israelites and continue to wander, we are not lost. God will never lose us. He will roar and we will return to Him.
For someday the people will follow me. I, the Lord, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west.
We have a divine parent who exceeds all of our parental expectations. God has a parental love that never gives up on us, His children, no matter how much we wander.