When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
—Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9
by: Gabrielle Watt.
God has always loved His people. Even though He cared and provided for Israel, they turned away from Him. They worshiped idols, made sacrifices to false gods, and took part in rituals that were definitely not of God. Verse 3 tells us that they did not even realize that it was God who had provided for them. Even though this betrayal infuriated God, He had compassion on His people, and did not destroy their cities. Are there things in your life that you allow to turn you away from the blessings God has provided for you? Remember God’s compassion and turn back.