Text: Hosea 12 Theme: God’s love for his children will triumph in the end. Key verses: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But theÂ more I called Israel the further they went from me.” (v. 1-2) “It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms.” (v. 3a) “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” (v. 4) “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?…My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger…” (v.8 ) “For I am God, and not man…” (v. 9b) “They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling…” (v. 10) “I will settle them in their homes, declares the Lord.” (v. 11b) What God said to me: Dwayne, do you see now why I told you earlier to stay with this study of Hosea? It was necessary to trudge through chapter after chapter of my wrath because of Israel’s transgressions. It was imperative that you understand the depth of my people’s sin and disobedience. I wanted you to see how much they deserved judgment. All of that laid the foundation for what you have read today, for in the midst of my anger, IÂ am still their Father and theyÂ are my children. I am not like you humans who can disown your offspring, turning your back on them as though they never existed. I remember how I nurtured you and carried you. I remember that I am your Father. I love you forever. This chapter does not negate all you have already read. It does not undermine my justice. I am still a holy God – but, a holy God who is also aÂ loving and caring heavenly Father to my children. I know that you are but dust, and I have loved you with an everlasting love. Even when I roar and cause you to tremble, my purpose is to settle you into your peaceful home with me. What I said to God: O Lord, I am amazed by Your love. I cannot fathom how You must love and care for us. Thank You, thank You for calling us Your children; thankÂ YouÂ for calling me Your child. Arouse your compassion once again. Hold back your wrath against us. Woo us with Your love and mercy. Guide us by Your hand. As for me and my house, we will serve You, Lord.
26. December 2006 Hosea 0