By areec1

It is hard to envisage anything so bad that a parent would choose to turn away from their grown-up child, but addiction is surely one.

Severely affected addicts can be so destructive and manipulative that in the end the parent, in tears, is forced to stop contact with them until they become clean.

It’s a drastic and devastating action, taken only when all other options have been exhausted. This is something like the picture of how God felt about Israel in Hosea’s time.

Hosea, like Micah and early Isaiah, was writing during the reigns of Ahaz and the kings either side of him, but whereas they were prophesying to Judah, in the south, Hosea addressed Israel, in the north.

When the kingdom split after Solomon, Israel went astray more quickly than Judah, with a succession of terrible kings who worshipped other gods.

By the time Assyria was a political threat, Israel was entirely spiritually corrupt. Like the parent of an addict, after repeated warnings, God was finally drawing the line.

Israel would be destroyed as a nation, defeated by Assyria. But here we see God’s heartbreak in having to do this, thinking back to the early days, ‘When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son’ (v1).

We see the turmoil of emotions (vv8–12) as God wrestles with His love for the people and their unacceptable evil.

If we think our waiting for God to act is hard, spare a thought for God’s patience with us. When the church is working well, it is wonderful, but it can also be a place of terrible abuse. Imagine the wrenching emotions God feels today about the church – and pray.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord, we pray for the church to fully reflect Jesus in the world. Cleanse our own hearts, we pray, and keep us walking close with You. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Abuse at the hands of church leaders sadly seems to have a regular place in our news. Pray for the survivors of abuse and ask God to root out all abusers.

Scripture To Consider:
2 Kgs 17:1–18; Hos. 4:1–9; Matt. 18:1–9 &. 23:1–12

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.