My heart recoils within me,
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my fierce anger,
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come to destroy. Hosea 11:9
Wow, God’s grace at work! That is why he doesn’t give up on Israel, or on us. Our hope is based on the faithfulness of God, and His is not based on our unfaithfulness to him. The words of these two verses braid together strands of his grace into a rope of love, a cord of compassion that slips around our wandering hearts. God’s love is relentless and won’t let his people go. Although he does have to judge and punish them, he can never finally give up on them or hand them over to total destruction.
We see attributes of God in this passage in Hosea:
- God’s holiness is foundational to his love.
- God isn’t vindictive.
- God is compassionate and tender.
- He is righteous in his judgment.
- His punishment is remedial.
- His forgiving grace is at work.
- His purpose in all the circumstances is reconciliation.
- He is not like us.
- His holiness, mercy and grace will ultimately bring his people back to the land.