It couldn't last

Daily reading Hosea 11:1-9
Wednesday November 18, 2015

Focus passage: They will return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria will be their king, because they have refused to return to me. Hosea 11:5

As we read through the passage, there becomes this moment where you realize it isn’t going to be an easy road.  Any parent can attest to that. 

Babies grow into grumpy toddlers, who eventually turn into rebellious teenagers.  It is no surprise then when thinking of Israel’s past and their struggle to place God in first in their lives that when God begins by saying how God loved young Israel that it eventually is going to get tense and difficult.

But deep love depends upon a firm foundation where we can see the inherent worth and value of one another and Hosea establishes that at the beginning of the chapter.

All is not well.  The people not only have a divided heart they have refused to return to God.

This is in many ways the Old Testament’s version of the Prodigal Son.  The child has chosen to turn his back on his parent and his family and has gone too far away and the parent can no longer protect them. 

And then the tone changes, God shares God’s frustration.  Like a parent who has waited up well past curfew for a child that has been out doing only God knows what, God unleashes in frustration, wondering perhaps where God went wrong.

God’s frustration is grounded in the people’s refusal to put God first in their lives, to return God’s steadfast love and to allow that to pour into their community.

It’s like an exhausted parent breaking up a fight between siblings and they say, “why can’t you all just get along.”

Prayer: God help me to place you more fully in the center of my life.  Help me to be filled with your deep abiding steadfast love and care.  Amen.


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