1 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
How often am I like this? God calls to me, he encourages me to walk his way, I just keep doing my own thing. And God's response is:
3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
God cares for me none-the-less. He keeps reminding me that I am his. He keeps calling me back, and caring for me. I have to admit, I don't get it. God's grace in my life just astounds me sometimes, it makes me see his awesomeness all the more clearly.
I am so thankful that God continually calls me back to him. That he continues to teach me through the work of the Holy Spirit what is right and what is wrong, that he sent his Son to die, to be a living example to me. It is God and God alone who enables me to be faithful to him.
7My people are bent on turning away from me,
and though they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.
8How 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.
9I 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.
May all the praise be to him!