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Summary: GOD’S PERSEVERING LOVE

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LOVE THAT WON’T GIVE UP

One day C. H. Spurgeon was walking through the English countryside with a friend. As they strolled along, the evangelist noticed a barn with a weather vane on its roof. At the top of the vane were these words: GOD IS LOVE. Spurgeon remarked to his companion that he thought this was a rather inappropriate place for such a message. "Weather vanes are changeable," he said, "but God’s love is constant."

"I don’t agree with you about those words, Charles," replied his friend. "You misunderstood the meaning. That sign is indicating a truth: Regardless of which way the wind blows, God is love."

I/ THE NATURE OF PERSEVERING LOVE - Hosea 11:1-4

1. Verse 1a: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him" - God loved Israel while Israel was an enslaved people.

Matthew 18:2-3: And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, {3} And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Why does God love children ?

Israel was enslaved when God loved them, so also men today are enslaved by sin, yet God loves them.

2. Verse 1b "Called my son out of Egypt" - called, is covenant terminology and implies relationship. Through Israel’s seed was to come God’s "son". All of God’s dealings with Israel were based upon the love that He would show in calling His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, back from the comparative safety of Egypt in order that He might suffer and die to accomplish His great redemptive work

Matthew 2:13-15

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. {14} When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: {15} And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

3. Verse 2a - "As they called them, so they went from them."- ASV translates this as "The more the prophets called them, the more they went from them" The Berkeley version reads "But the more I called them, the more they deserted Me" In a sense both versions are correct, God called Israel to honor the covenant made with Him at Sinai. He did so through the prophets.

4.Verse 2b - "they sacrificed unto Baalim and they burned incense to graven images." - Instead of returning to the Lord, Israel went farther into Baal worship. Baalim is the plural of Baal. Each community had its image of Baal, hence the plural. Baal was the Canaanite god of fertility and of harvest. Israel attributed to Baal the blessings that came from God.

5. Verse 3a - "I taught Ephraim also to go--taking them by their arms" - Returning to the father and son motif in verse 3, God said that He taught Israel to "go", like a father teaches his little children how to walk by "taking them by their arms" This suggests God’s giving of the Mosaic law at Mount Sinai.


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