The Lord tenderly reminds His wayward people of what He had done for them, how in the days of thy youth,” (Ecc.12:1). “But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things” (Lk.16:25).
The sin of discouragement may often be the sin of forgetfulness. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Ps. 103:l). The Lord reminds his people of what He Did for Them.
He loved Israel, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him” (v.1).
When Israel was a child then he had no wisdom or strength to glory in.
Our ignorance and weakness did not hinder the love of God for us. Let us never forget that God loved us even, “while we were yet sinners, “I called My Son out of Egypt” (v.1). We have been called out of the land of darkness, sorrow, and bondage.
It takes Jesus to delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness and the slavery of ignorance, into the glorious Iight and liberty of the children of God John said of Jesus, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (Jh,1:4).
Jesus Delivered us that we might become a separated people for His Name “ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid.” (Rom.6:1,2)
The Lord taught his people according to (v.3),“I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by the arms”
What a picture this is of Divine patience and carefulness. Like a father taking his child by the arms and teaching him to walk. God means for us “to go,” and although we may feel weak in our feet, He will “perfect His strength in our weakness.
The Lord drawed them, “I drew them with cords of a man with bands of love ” (v.4).
Not with cords of a beast, following in ignorance of its master’s will.
Not with the iron bonds of compulsion, dragging against the will; but with that tender ties of Love, “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” (II.Cor.5;14).
He encouraged them according to (v.8) “How shall I give thee up.? ” What comfort we may draw from language like this, as if He said: “I have done great things for thee, I have had long patience with thee.”
How shall I give thee up? ” Let us hear these words as coming from the lips of our God.
I have ransomed thee with My own Blood, endowed thee with My own life, called thee by My own Name, given thee My own Spirit, and promised them Eternal Life and a place in My own Home. How shall I give thee up? “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Jh.14:3.
He assured the that he was in there midst, “I am God, the Holy one in the midst of thee” (v.9).
The assurance of His Presence is the for taste of victory, to Moses the Lord said, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Ex. 33: 14). “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is My Helper, and I will not fear” (Heb. 13. 5,6).
We may well have boldness in His service with such an all-sufficient and unfailing promise. For “in His presence there is fulness of joy.” (Psa. 16:11).
Note how the people requited His Goodness. They had listened to other voice, “They called them, so they went” (v. 2).
How unstable are our human affections, James stated in(James.1:8) “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
The worshippers of other gods called them, so they sacrificed unto Baalim.
Before we pass judgment on their shameful sin, let us ask: Are there no voices of the world, the flesh, our social relationships or sceptical acquaintances to which we have listened and turned aside from our burning service of God! “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: …And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” (Lk.14:18).
Satan is skillful in this alluring art. “Be ye faithful unto death. ” They did not recognize his healing hand as they should, “They knew not that I healed them” (v. 3).
What? Recipients of His great mercies, and blind to the Giver ?
Is there any sin more common than this. The world is crowded with such sinners, and the so-called Church is by no means destitute of willful consent.
They receive with open heart and willing arms all the mercies God may pour into their earthly lot, but never recognise the Giver with even an upward look.
God has given His Son to the death of the Cross to save them, but they have never said: “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. ”
They had A tendency to blackside.“My people are bent on backsliding from Me” (v7). This bent is only too common among the Lord’s professing people. How
much we need to pray: “Uphold Thou my goings, that I slip not. ”
The temptations of the world to turn aside always press heavily upon the Christian pilgrim, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (I.Jh.2:16).
Yet in the midst of all these tendencies to go out of His way, we are assured that He is faithful who hath promised. “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults”