Hosea 11:1-12 NIV
GOD'S Love for Israel
1 “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.
3It Was I WHO Taught Ephraim To walk,
Taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
It Was I WHO Healed them.
4I 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.
5“Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7My people are determined to turn from ME.
Even though they call ME GOD MOST HIGH,
I Will by no means Exalt them.
8“How Can I Give you Up, Ephraim?
How Can I Hand you Over, Israel?
How Can I Treat you like Admah?
How Can I Make you like Zeboyim?
MYHeart Is Changed within ME;
all MY Compassion Is Aroused.
9I Will Not Carry Out MY Fierce Anger,
nor Will I Devastate Ephraim again.
For I AM GOD, and not a man—
The HOLY ONE among you.
I Will Not Come Against their cities.
10They will follow The LORD;
HE Will Roar like a lion.
When HE Roars,
His children will come trembling from the west.
11They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I Will Settle them in their homes,”
Declares The LORD.
12Ephraim has surrounded ME with lies,
Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against GOD,
even against The Faithful HOLY ONE.
11:1-7 When Israel were weak and helpless as children, then GOD Loved them. HE Bore them as the nurse does the sucking child, nourished them, and suffered their manners. All who are grown up ought to reflect upon the Goodness of GOD to them in their childhood. HE Took Care of them, Took pains with them, not only as a FATHER, or a TUTOR, but as a MOTHER, or NURSE.
When they were in the wilderness, GOD Showed them the way in which they should go, and bore them up, Taking them by the arms. HE Taught them the way of HIS Commandments by the ceremonial law given by Moses. HE Took them by the arms, To Guide them, that they might not stray, and To Hold them up, that they might not stumble and fall.
GOD'S spiritual Israel is all thus supported. It is GOD'S Grace to draw poor souls to HIMSELF and no one can come to HIM except HE Draw them. With bands of love; this word signifies stronger cords than the former. HE Eased them of the burdens they had long groaned under. Israel is very ungrateful to GOD. GOD'S Counsels would have saved them, but their own counsels ruined them.
They backslide; there is no steadfastness in them. They backslide from GOD, the Chief Good. They are ready to sin. Their hearts are fully set in them to do evil. Those only are truly happy, whom The LORD Teaches by HIS SPIRIT, Upholds by HIS Power, and Causes to walk in HIS Ways. By HIS Grace HE Takes Away the love and dominion of sin, and creates a desire for the blessed feast of The Gospel, that they may feed thereon, and live forever.
11:8-12 GOD Is Slow To Anger, and Is Unwilling To Abandon a people to utter ruin, who have been called by HIS Name.
When GOD Gives a sacrifice for sin, and a SAVIOR for sinners, HE Spared Not HIS OWN SON, that HE Might Spare us. This is the language of the Day of HIS Patience.
But when men sin, then the Great Day of HIS Wrath Comes. Man's compassion is nothing in comparison with the tender Mercies of our GOD, WHOSE thoughts and ways, in receiving returning sinners, are as much above ours as heaven is above the earth. GOD Knows How To Pardon poor sinners. HE Is Faithful and Just To Forgive us our sins, and therein Declares HIS Righteousness, now CHRIST Has Purchased the pardon, and HE Has Promised it. Holy trembling at The WORD of CHRIST Will Draw us to HIM, not Drive us from HIM, the children tremble, and flee to HIM.