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 11:8-9
We see God today as a loving Father who loved Israel as a child. He taught Ephraim to walk and took them up by His arms. He bent down to them and fed them. God has always been a good, loving, caring Father.
The punishment was coming due to Israel´s sin. They would be devoured by the Assyrians and taken into captivity. But God, as a loving Father, shows His heart today. “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.”
How can I give up on you? I think about my kids today. When they make decisions that break my heart, do I give up on them? Never. If I, as an unfaithful human, am not willing to give up on my children, how can we think that God will withhold His love from us forever? He will again have compassion. He will not leave His people in captivity forever.
Heavenly Father, when we were in sin and guilty before you, You didn´t give up on us. Justice demanded that You do this, yet in Your heart, You found a way for salvation: Jesus Christ. Thank You for not giving up on me. Thank You for finding the perfect way to save me. Amen.