When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them. 5They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me. 6The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes. 7My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all. 8How can I give you up, 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. 9I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. (Hosea 11:1-9, NRSV)
Have you ever wanted your child to do something and the more you ask them or tell them or advise them to do it a certain way, they keep going about it their own way?
God does that with us every day. And if a parent ever had the right to smite a child, I think that would be God. Because we are obstinate. We do our own thing in our own ways all the time.
Yet God is always there, tender in heart and ready to love us.
God will never leave us nor forsake us. God is the loving holy parent we all need.
Remember that no matter where you go or what you do, God is always there waiting for you to turn into God’s arms!