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Hosea 11:1-11 – The Lion roars and the children listen

Israel was a child who was loved by the LORD, called out of Egypt, led through the wilderness, and taught how to walk. God was their parent and they were the child. Sadly, in verse 2 they must have become rebellious teenagers because the more they were called the less they listened as they went their own ways.

God’s response is to judge them for their sin – a common theme on the prophets – but just when they seem to be without God and without hope, God remains faithful.

God cannot bring himself to ultimately give them up and hand them over to destruction. He cannot treat them like Admah and Zeboiim – two cities that shared in the burning fire and sulfur that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Why not? Because he has compassion grows warm within him for his wayward child.

God will not change his mind and destroy Israel because he is God and not a man, the Holy One. God is devoted to his glory displayed in grace and for this reason he will be present among his people. The unchanging nature of God and his devotion to his glory is a basis of his faithfulness in saving sinners.

The passage ends with God’s children again being called to himself. However, God as the parent is now a lion roaring and the children are like birds that come to him. Ordinarily birds would flee from a lion’s roar but Israel has come to know God’s awesome lion-like power – but instead of being afraid they have come to trust in that power. God’s people hear the lion’s roar and are summoned from the furthest south (Egypt) and the most distant north (Assyria) to come to him – to come to their new home.

Perhaps this can be linked to the final day where Jesus will call his people to “rise” with a voice like a great trumpet and we will be gathered from the four corners of the earth – and so we shall ever be with the LORD.