11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 4 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.
God compares His love of His people to that of a parent and child. This passage describes the heartbreak of a parent with a willful, disobedient child. So many parents today live with the heartache of witnessing not just disrespectful behavior from their children, but even self-destructive behavior. Sadly, sometimes it may be the children that witness these destructive behaviors in their parents. They see loved ones self- mutilating, poisoning their bodies with chemicals that create havoc in their lives and in the lives of those who love them. Some, not as blatantly destructive, but self-absorbed, live only for themselves.
What this passage reminds me is that God hasn’t given up on any one of us, despite the many wrongs we do. God’s love continues, like any parent who chooses to keep hoping one day their child will turn away from destructive behaviors. Unlike any of us, God knows what the future holds and God holds out hope for us. God sent Jesus to be our hope, to be the means for our reconciliation, and to give us the power in his Holy Spirit to be transformed into His image. God’s love is greater than ours, because God has the means to make us new. I pray that we are willing to have God work through us, to the glory of His name.
Father God, you created us, you love us. You know what is best for us. At times we think we know a better way, but there is nothing but pain and heartbreak outside of your plan. The joy of your grace outweighs anything I can imagine. The freedom found in giving up one’s will to yours brings peace, hope and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your son who paid the price for our freedom and gave us direct access to you, and for the Holy Spirit who is with us, guiding us, always. In Jesus’ name, Amen