What a wonderful love letter from God is the book of Hosea and how we pain our Creator and Saviour when we turn away from Him.
I do not intend to go into the book of Hosea now, or indeed the whole of Chapter 11, which is a very emotive one.
I just want to ponder on the implications of these few words, ‘it was I who taught Ephraim to walk’.
Those of you who are fathers yourselves and taught your sons and daughters to walk, as fathers do, with such loving care, will remember the closeness and the bonding which took place between you and your beloved child during those months of their young lives.
How your heart would almost burst with pride and affection when they took their first steps alone, and stumbled towards you, while you waited, arms outstretched, to catch them.
Those times , while they can never return, will remain in your heart for ever.
Those days ended, and your little one became proficient at walking alone.
They no longer needed, and probably didn’t want to run into your protective arms any longer. They thought they were all grown up and didn’t need you standing ahead of them ‘just in case’.
I am sure the time came when they did fall, and ran sobbing into your arms, crying ‘Daddy, Daddy!’, and yes, you would have been there to lift them up in your arms and comfort them, saying, “It’s alright, Daddy’s here.”
This is what our Father God does for us. He watches our progress, longs to have us near to Him, and grieves over us as a loving Father when we stumble and fall, over, and over again.
May we always remember that He, who taught us to walk, remains loving and faithfully close, holding us in His hands as long as we don’t turn away, or worse still, walk right away from Him.
W.B. Oct 2008.