A memory appeared in our social media feed of our daughter when she really started walking on her own. As with any little one, they toddle along with mom or dad holding their arms. Before you know it, they are jetting around the house so fast you are worn out.
It’s a sweet time, but you expect that the little one will grow up and be able to walk on their own. However, as they grow in their independence, they should not forget the sweet love of mom and dad.
Hosea paints a similar picture but with a sad ending. “When Israel was a child, then I loved him…I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; But they knew not that I healed them” (Hosea 11:1, 3). The picture is of God holding the arms of Israel as they were just finding their balance and taking their first steps as a nation. It was a tender time. Every scrap and bruise they earned, God healed them.
In Psalm 135 and 136, you read of all the early memories of Israel and the Lord. “For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself and Israel for his peculiar treasure” (Psalm 135:4). “He smote great nations and slew mighty kings…The idols of the heathen are silver and gold,” but the Lord is not like those gods. “Their gods…were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone” (2 Kings 19:18).
It was such tender, fatherly love Israel forgot and “sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images” (Hosea 11:2). What a sad story! It’s the grown child who insults the unconditional love of his parents. It’s the independent prodigal who demands what’s owed him and wastes it all on riotous living.
Do you find occasionally that you have forgotten the great love wherewith he has loved you? Have you fawned after the world turning from so great salvation accomplished for you by Jesus Christ? If you find the conversation with your Heavenly Father has grown sporadic and the craving to worship him amongst your brothers and sisters in Christ has waned and the passion of your first love has cooled, then return to Him. His arms are always stretched out to receive you back into close fellowship for his mercy endureth forever.