Daily Reading & Prayer
A Father's Love
Hosea 9:1-14:1-9Hosea 11:1-5, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. But the more they were called, the more they went away from Me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. 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. Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?’
Your five-year-old repeatedly refuses to put away their toys. What do you do? Your ten-year-old constantly gets caught playing video games when they’re supposed to be doing homework. What do you do? Your seventeen-year-old has missed curfew yet again! What do you do? Your Heavenly Father has asked you to obey His commands, but you still keep making the same mistake even though you know it’s wrong? What does HE do?God is the ultimate parent. Just as we must do with the kids and students in our lives that consistently act up by instilling discipline through consequences for repeat offenses, God must do for us. Is it because He is capricious and cruel or because He’s a major killjoy who loves handing down punishment from His heavenly throne? Absolutely not! The depth of His love is beyond comprehension. And the Bible makes it clear: God disciplines the ones He loves.As with us, God was and will always remain madly in love with His chosen people, Israel. They had repeatedly strayed, and in the words of Hosea had, “prostituted” themselves to idolatry and sinfulness. So, as much as it hurt God to watch them give themselves over to evil practices, it hurt Him to allow harsh consequences for their actions.God never seeks pleasure in watching us hurt or squirm in difficult circumstances. It’s the last thing He wants — but we make our own choices. He loves us way too much to let us get away with repeated offenses. There comes the point when we have to learn the hard way, just as the Israelites did. But like any loving parent, God allows us to learn from our mistakes, to gain understanding from the discomfort and hassle of poor decision-making. But here’s what’s so great about God! He allows us a do-over, the chance to turn back to Him and draw close. He’s always patiently awaiting our return, just as He promised His people thousands of years ago.So, today, give thanks to the Ultimate Parent, your Heavenly Father who loves you more than you could ever ask for or imagine!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. I don't deserve it, I can't earn it, yet You love me nonetheless. Help me remain obedient to Your commands. Amen.