Summary: To show that despite our shortcomings, our failures, our disobedience, our circumstances and situations, God still loves man.
“God Loves Us Inspite Our Humanity”
Turn to Hosea 11: verses 1-11
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more they were called, the more they went away 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 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. “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? A sword will flash in their cities; it will devour their false prophets and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even though they call me God Most High, I 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 Zeboyim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 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. 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 from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the LORD.”
Here in our text today God Himself is speaking to Israel. God is pictured here as having mixed feelings towards His people whether it is attraction and the repulsion, as though God is uncertain as to which approach to follow. It is for sure that throughout the history of Israel, God has bent over backwards for Israel. God would help Israel, deliver them from their problems and it wouldn’t seem as those they would wind up back in the same mess God had gotten them out of.
God begins comparing His relationship with Israel as that of a parent to their child. He seems to be establishing grounds for His judgment. He contrasts His love for His people DESPITE their unfaithfulness. God does announce to Israel the judgment He has chosen the punishment to be in the form of military defeat. Yet, God appears to have a change of heart. As He established the parent/child relationship, not that He turns His back on sin or that He will allow us to continue to live in sin. Divine Compassion OVERCOMES Divine Anger….
God knows you & I. He knows us from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet. He created us. He knows our strengths, He knows our weaknesses. (I’ve coached my 11 year old grandson in youth football the past 5 years. I’ve practiced with him, I’ve seen him play. I know his strengths & I know his weaknesses.)
God’s way is that of a parent. He will correct us, He will punish us. We, like children are by nature going to try to get away with whatever we can. Yet DESPITE my weaknesses, my
failures, even my sin (Today Jesus is our intercessor), not that He condones me living in sin, DESPITE all of this…….God Loves Me. We also see here in this text where God changed His mind. Does He change His mind? (Moses stood in for Israel in the wilderness, when God was angry and ready to destroy them. God changed His mind. Abraham stood in for Sodom & Gomorrah as God was set to destroy the cities, He even said He would change His mind if there could be any righteous found.)
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God is longsuffering. He gives you and I far more opportunities or chances that we deserve. Why? Because He would that all of us come to repentance rather than perish. Today if you have never accepted Christ as your savior then you need to before it is too late. If you have accepted Christ as your savior and you have backslid as the text refers to in verse 7, then you have the opportunity to repent and return to God.
God had heard the cries of His people. He delivered His people from their bondage. His people turned away from Him. God’s anger is kindled against His people and sets out to punish them for their sins. God announces His judgment onto Israel. Hosea here compares God’s love with human metaphors stressing the difference between God and man is God’s capacity for radical, forgiving love. It was just like God once He had announced His change of heart toward judgment He immediately announced Salvation.