What Canít You Give Up?
January 17 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 41-42; Matthew 12:1-23
What Canít You Give Up?
[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God.
READ HOSEA 11:8Ė11
ďWhatís one thing you canít give up?Ē the radio host asked. Listeners called in with some interesting answers. Some mentioned their families, including a husband who shared memories of a deceased wife. Others shared they canít give up on their dreams, such as making a living in music or becoming a mother. All of us have something we treasure dearlyóa person, a passion, a possessionósomething we canít give up.
In the book of Hosea, God tells us that He wonít give up on His chosen people Israel, His treasured possession. As Israelís loving husband, God provided her with everything she needed: land, food, drink, clothing, and security. Yet like an adulterous spouse, Israel rejected God and sought her happiness and security elsewhere. The more God pursued her, the further she drifted away (Hosea 11:2). However, though she had hurt Him deeply, He would not give her up (v. 8). He would discipline Israel so as to redeem her; His desire was to re-establish His relationship with her (v. 11).
Today, all Godís children can have the same assurance: His love for us is a love that will never let us go (Romans 8:37-39). If weíve wandered from Him, He yearns for us to return. When God disciplines us, we can be comforted that itís a sign of His pursuit, not of His rejection. We are His treasure; He wonít give up on us.
By Poh Fang Chia
REFLECT & PRAY
A child of God is always welcomed home.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love that never gives up on me. Help me to love You wholeheartedly.
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Hosea, a contemporary of prophets Isaiah and Micah, ministered primarily to the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Hosea 1:1). His prophetic ministry was unique because he not only communicated in words what God wanted to tell the Israelites, but he symbolically acted out these revelations (chs. 1, 3). Hosea was commanded to marry Gomer, a promiscuous woman, to show that ďlike an adulterous wife [Israel] is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORDĒ (1:2). After Gomerís unfaithfulness, Hosea was commanded to reconcile with her and to ďlove her as the LORD loves the IsraelitesĒ (3:1). These tragic examples mirror Godís unrequited love for Israel. Despite Israelís unrepentant unfaithfulness (chs. 1-3) and warnings of ominous punishment (chs. 4-10), God promises restoration and blessing, revealing how great and relentless His love is. In His mercy, God spared them (11:8-9); and in His grace, He will redeem and restore them (vv. 10-11). K. T. Sim
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