Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal… Hosea 11:8-9
Hosea 11:1-11 (NLT)
Here, covenant is calling to God. He had entered a perpetual covenant of love with Israel’s fathers, and He is a covenant keeping God. Therefore, it was hard for Him to let out the full weight of His wrath on Ephraim (Israel) and break off His relationship with them, in spite of their misdeeds. His heart of love would not permit it; it yearned within Him for Ephraim, like a mother’s for her infant. God’s nature would not permit their destruction or severe punishment, for then, He would have broken covenant and His heart of love would have been violated.
In His fierce anger and wrath, God had destroyed the cities of Admah & Zeboiim together with Sodom & Gomorrah because of their ungodliness (Deuteronomy 29:23); however, His beloved children can be confident in His love as seen in our text – He will never allow the same fate that befell the unjust to befall them.
When we fully don’t understand the love of God for us as demonstrated in Christ Jesus, we soon become afraid of what may go wrong in our lives, we go around with a sense of condemnation and we allow satan to deceive us to think that the unpleasant events around us are an indication that God is punishing us for a misdeed or some flaw of ours. However, God’s heart overflows with compassion towards you; He cannot unleash His anger on you because that would destroy you and go against His will for you. Remember, He gave His only begotten Son to save you, not to condemn or destroy you. So, He bears long with you, forgives and gives you countless opportunities to repent. His love towards you is simply ‘unusual.’
Paul said in Romans 2:4, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” So, God’s love is never a license to live an untoward lifestyle, it is so that His love will lead us into living for Him.
As a carrier of God’s divine nature of love, let this heart of compassion also guide how you relate with others; where you are supposed to mete out judgement for a wrong done to you, don’t forget to extend grace and mercy.
Thank You Father for loving me with a love that passes all knowledge; and for abounding in mercy towards my shortcomings. I pray and receive grace to reciprocate and abide in Your love, so I won’t make sinning an habit. Help me to love deeply as You do, and that in judgment, I will remember mercy and covenant in Jesus’ name.