Hose 11: 1, 4
“When Israel was a child, then I love him, and called my son our of Egypt” (v. 1.) Yet, Israel when from him and sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images (v. 2.)
Israel was God’s children in need to be cared for, weak in need to be strengthened, they were ignorant and in need to be taught, in need of being fed, tired and in need to be refreshed.
Israel was a highly favoured people. God loved them, “when Israel was a child, then I love him” (v. 1.) Why the Almighty should have manifested a special interest in the descendants of Abraham is a question that only he can answer.
God loves us not because we were better and more numerous than others. He loved us of his own free will. He loved us even when we were wayward, self-willed, foolish and when we were unlike him in character, and helpless in condition. We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Yet, he loves all of us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jh. 3: 16.)
It was God who emancipated Israel, “and called my son out of Egypt.”(v. 1.) It was the Lord who broke the rod of Israel’s oppressor. He delivered Israel out of Egyptian bondage. This material emancipation of Israel is a striking emblem of the great moral and spiritual emancipation. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isa. 61: 1.)
God not only calls by the voice of his servants, but also give power to obey his call. It is God’s spirit that can cause us to be willing in the day of God’s power, reluctance is overcome, men and women can rise and obey the call of God in their sinfulness. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him” (Mt. 4: 19, 20.)
Redemption from Egypt is a type of deliverance from sin, death, and hell “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1: 21.)
God educated Israel, “I taught Ephraim also to go” (v. 3.) Moses was only Israel’s instrument. When Israel was in the wilderness God led them by a cloud in the day and a fire by night.
God carried us when we were young and unlearned, upholds us when we were weak, and has taught us gradually and gently to walk in his commands.
He takes us by the arms, lifts us up from dust and despair, and teaches us to go in pursuit of better things.
It is the privilege of God’s people not only to be loved and delivered, but taught and guided.
When weak and weary, in paths rough and dark, God is with us, leading us about and instructing us and keeping us as the apple of his eye.
God healed them, “I am the Lord that health thee” (v. 3.) God’s people are not only cared for, he see’s to us in times of sickness and sorrow.
Sin is self-injury, but God is our happiness and health. While the wicked inflicts wounds upon their heart and mind and destroys themselves, God is our help.“O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help” (Hose 13: 9.)
God cures our sicknesses and pardons our sins, aids our infirmities and heals our diseases “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;” (Ps. 103: 3.)
It was God that guided them.“I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” He did not draw them by might, he attracted them by love and mercy.
People are alienated and distant from God, naturally ill disposed and unable to come to him. We must keep in mind, love only can draw, cruelty drives away. God uses no violence and force, never harsh when gentle means will do.
It was God who relieved them, “I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws.” God raise from the Israelite neck the heavy yoke of Egyptian bondage.
I was Like a merciful man who regardeth the life of his beast, he eased them of their burdens, and helped them in distress.
The Lord fed them, “And I laid meant unto them.” Manna from heaven, water from the rock, in Jesus there is no starvation nor limit. Blessing in abundance are given through him. Pardon, peace, and joy, relief from harassing care, and rest in perfect security. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your soul” (Mt.11: 129.)