Hosea 11:8-9 (NIV)
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 Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man– the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.
Gomer was a picture of the nation of Israel’s relationship with God. Even though Hosea continued to pursue Gomer, she ran out on him most nights. Every morning he would wake up and go in search for her. Each time he would find here being auctioned for some other man’s pleasures.
You can hear the anguish in the heart of God being expressed in this passage. He asks the question, “What shall I do with you?”
Reason said cut her off, “Punish her and reject her. She has never been faithful to you so why do you continue to bother?” The examples are put forth as a reason to reject Israel. Sodom and Gomorrah and Zeboim and Admah were the four cities that God overthrew in Genesis 19.
These four cities were just like Gomer. They continued to rebel against God even when he sent his own angels into the city, they rejected Him. It seems only fair for God to do the same to Israel.
When the voices of justice cry out for a judgment to be rendered there is a pause in the halls of heaven. What will God do with his own Chosen People? They have been unfaithful to Him for centuries and show no sign of improving.
Israel’s fate was all but sealed, the angels were set to pronounce judgment that would forever destroy Israel and she would be no more. The skies grew dark with impending doom. The horizon offered no future hope.
Into the darkness of hopeless despair, there was a voice that spoke clear and strong. “I cannot give you up. O Israel my heart beats for you!”
The angels were aghast at the voice they heard. It was coming from the throne and it spoke of love and compassion for Israel, not judgment and condemnation.
God had made a covenant with Israel to never forsake her. When there was no reason to believe that God would rescue Israel or ever hold her in his heart again the voice from the throne silenced all the doubters.
God would love Israel not because she was lovely, or that she possessed something in her that attracted God to her. God loved her because he had promised to love her, period.
It is the same with us O Church. When by grace God granted us faith to believe Him and turn from our sins and trust in His Son he made a covenant with us that has bound him to us forever. (See Ephesians 1:13-14)
Reason to rejoice-We are saved not by our good works nor are we secure by our good works. We are saved by God’s act of grace in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the reason we have for rejoicing today.