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Hosea 11 – How God is Different to Men 何西阿书11 – 人神大不同

Hosea 11 – How God is Different to Men 何西阿书11 – 人神大不同

Friday, 12th May 2023


Rev Daniel Xi An Poon


Section One V1-4 God is Love 神原是爱

V1-4 ‘When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. As they called them, so they went from them; they sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to carved images. I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.’

V1-4 ‘以色列年幼的时候,我爱他,就从埃及召出我的儿子来。先知越发招呼他们,他们越发走开,向诸巴力献祭,给雕刻的偶像烧香。我原教导以法莲行走,用膀臂抱着他们,他们却不知道是我医治他们。我用慈绳爱索牵引他们,我待他们如人放松牛的两腮夹板,把粮食放在他们面前。’

When the Israelites were the slaves, God already loved them. He didn’t love them when they arrived the Promised Land, but God loved them at the very beginning. We often doubt in God’s love, we don’t think that God will love us, because we think we are a failure, we think we are not worthy, and we think we are not good enough. God is love, He loves us no matter what, just as how He loves Israel from the very beginning even to today. But the Israelites chose to walk away from God, they didn’t believe God is love, and they even rejected God’s love. We are easy to feel unloved, when environment revolts against us, we complain and we feel sorry for ourselves, but we don’t see God’s love.

God loves Israel, He doesn’t need them to do anything, He loves them, guides them, and puts food in front of them. But they didn’t see God’s love. Do we see God’s love today? He doesn’t need us to do anything, when we offer to God and serve the House of God, not because it’s an exchange for God’s love, but it’s simply our choice to respond to God’s love. Why do we feel hurt? Because we think serving the church is our responsibility, we think it’s because of our ability that we have to serve, but God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him or for His church, He simply wants us to enjoying partnership with Him and responding to His love.

We must see everything we do as a process, we cannot do anything successfully, we will experience failures, but it’s never about being perfect, but about experiencing God. In this process, do we really respond to God’s love? Do we see how God never gives up on us? We must also not give up on loving God, just like how parents look after their newborn babies, they won’t give up on feeding their babies, comforting their babies, caring for their babies… God will also not give up on us, He has done so much for us, just as how He had done so much for the Israelites. But the Israelites did not see God’s love, they only complained and walked away from God.

Section Two V5-7 Men Chose to Rebel 人选择叛逆

V5-7 ‘He shall not return to the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to repent. And the sword shall slash in his cities, devour his districts, and consume them, because of their own counsels. My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him.’

V5-7 ‘他们必不归回埃及地,亚述人却要做他们的王,因他们不肯归向我。 刀剑必临到他们的城邑,毁坏门闩,把人吞灭,都因他们随从自己的计谋。我的民偏要背道离开我,众先知虽然招呼他们归向至上的主,却无人尊崇主。’

The Israelites were complaining to God, they wanted to go back to Egypt, they wanted to go back to the lives of slavery, they despised the words of the prophets, they didn’t know that the teaching from the prophets was to help them to leave their weakness and wickedness; they wanted the love from the world, they chose death, and they didn’t believe God would love them wholeheartedly. We think that God will only love us when we have done well, but we don’t see how God loves us no matter what. He could have destroyed us so easily, but He didn’t give up on us, and He didn’t hand us over to the enemies.

Section Three V8-12 God Does Not Give Up 神还是不放弃

V8-12 ‘How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My 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 with terror. They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then His sons shall come trembling from the west; they shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses, says the Lord. Ephraim has encircled Me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One who is faithful.’

V8-12 ‘以法莲哪,我怎能舍弃你?以色列啊,我怎能弃绝你?我怎能使你如押玛?怎能使你如洗扁?我回心转意,我的怜爱大大发动。 我必不发猛烈的怒气,也不再毁灭以法莲,因我是神,并非世人,是你们中间的圣者,我必不在怒中临到你们。耶和华必如狮子吼叫,子民必跟随他,他一吼叫,他们就从西方急速而来。他们必如雀鸟从埃及急速而来,又如鸽子从亚述地来到,我必使他们住自己的房屋。这是耶和华说的。以法莲用谎话,以色列家用诡计围绕我,犹大却靠神掌权,向圣者有忠心。’

Do we think that God has forgotten about us? God was telling the people of Israel and Ephraim that He would never give up on them. Admah and Zeboiim were the cities that were destroyed due to their wickedness, but God said He would not destroy His chosen people, because they were His children and He loves them no matter what. God is also telling us today that He loves us, He doesn’t want to bring His anger towards, His anger is out of love, not to destroy. Are we willing to obey God? We may also be angry sometimes, we may also raise up our voice, and we may complain to God, but when God’s love comes, everything will become calm; when we have the love of God, we will also easy to love others, because we see how God loves them.

We are not perfect, but we can stop our wicked ways, our anger, and our complaint towards others, let God’s mercy and love come to us. God’s roar is like a lion, not to destroy us but to call them back from their wicked way. When we see those walking astray, instead of being angry at them, we also must call out to them to return back. God’s roar is to stop Satan’s lies to us, His roar will wake up His people, because God doesn’t want His people to live the life of slavery. God calls us back to Him, to turn away from Satan’s lies, He has prepared the land for us, because He loves us and He will never give up on us.