Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 9, 2011

The Compassion of God

Hosea 11
There is a difference between compassion and concern. If a man falls off an ocean liner it would show concern by yelling man overboard and look for help. Compassion would be at the risk of one’s own life to jump in and rescue the drowning man. Compassion trumps concern. In Hosea 11 we see the compassion of God for a wayward people. The ultimate act of compassion is Jesus Christ dying on the cross for a wayward people.

The recent chapters of Hosea have focused on God’s judgment. Now the focus is on God’s compassion. We get to the purpose behind God’s judgment.

God’s love in spite of Israel’s sin vs 1-4
A father teaches his child to walk. Israel is portrayed as a child. God taught Israel to walk, but they did not follow in their Father’s footsteps. God chose Abraham, Israel’s ancestors. God’s desire was for his child to be like Him and glorify his name. Israel was a prodigal son. God said in verse 2 the more I called Israel the more they went away. They did not listen to the prophets calling them back to God.

God’s love is a parental love. He has compassion for the wayward. Look at the acts of compassion God demonstrated.
I loved him.

I taught him to walk.
I took them in My arms.
I healed them.
I led them with ties of love.
I bent down and fed them.

Contrast what Israel did.
They went from me.
They did not realize I healed them.
They refused to return to God.

God had done so much for Israel and they did not acknowledge God as the source of their blessing. Do you stop and think how much God has really blessed you?

God uses judgment for redemption. A child who is loved is punished. Verse 8 speaks of Admah and Zeboim of the plain. They were the cities destroyed when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

Verse 8b is the compassion of God. He sees the potential of a changed life. God works through a Holy Remnant to accomplish his work. He uses fallen man, me and you to do his work. In these verses Israel’s sin and God’s love are set against each other.

God’s standard is still holiness verse 5. There is no lowering His standard of moral requirement. God sees the sinner, but is not prepared to give up. Aren’t you glad that God does not give up?

In verse 1 of this chapter there is a prophecy of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 2:15. The story of Hosea’s marriage to Gomer is an illustration of the spiritual depravity of Israel. The story of wayward Israel is the story of our sinful depravity. Human nature is depraved. God thought it worth dying for.

God jumped off the ship to save a sinner. Jesus died for you the just for the unjust to bring you back to God. The ultimate act of compassion is Jesus Christ dying on the cross for a wayward people.

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