I read Hosea today, and this passage made me weep.
This is the story of the prodigal Israel, the forgetful Ephraim, and myself...when I choose my own course. God help me to run into Your arms--not away.
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
“Daddy, how much do you love me? Tell me one more time. I want to stay with you for always and forever. You said you’d never leave me right?"
Come to me my beloved son…
But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
“Ok. Ok. Yeah, I get it--you love me. But you know, I’m not a kid anymore and I need a little space-- away from you and away from your rules. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
Israel, Israel , I am looking for you…I am longing for you…
They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
"Stop pursuing me! Can you hear me? I must get ahead in this world! I will be successful! People will know my name! My time and energy are all spent. I have none left for you. Stop with the 'love’ stuff, OK?"
Why do you give your love and devotion to another, my son? I am all you need. I love you fully.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
“Enough with this sentimental garbage! So you taught me to walk. What else have you ever done for me? I have gotten where I am by my own hard work! I am the master of my own destiny!"
I was so proud of you when you took your first steps. You walked right to me. I wish you had never walked away…
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;
"I keep hearing your voice…and frankly, it’s starting to irritate me. I don’t want your blessings! I don’t want your forgiveness! And most of all, I don’t want your love! I don’t need you."
I will never leave you or forsake you. You are precious to me. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are my child. My love for you is endless.
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
"Your law is so heavy. Do you really expect me to obey it? It is oppressive! You are oppressive! What did you say? No! I don’t want your help! Do you think I am weak? I don’t want—no, I don’t need-- your food. It makes me feel sick to my stomach."
My law was given to show you how much you need ME. I do expect obedience, but not on your own, my child. Not on your own. I desire to help you, beloved. I want to lift your burden. See, I bend down to you—to your level. I leave my throne and come to you. I want to feed you Wholeness and Truth and Beauty. I want to give you Joy—My Joy. I want to share it with you. And, remember, I will always love you.
Based on Hosea 11:1-4