Hos 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Out of Egypt I called my son – See Mt 2:13ffn

Hos 11:2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.

Hos 11:3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realise it was I who healed them.

Hos 11:4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.

Hos 11:5 “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?

Hos 11:6 Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans.

Hos 11:7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.

Hos 11:8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.

Hos 11:9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man—the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

‘I am God, and not man’

Let us meditate on this declaration of our God for a few moments.

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I am infinitely patient, and not soon moved to take vengeance upon My sinful and rebellious creatures!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I am ready to forgive, and receive back the returning prodigal to My heart and home!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I receive great sinners, taking to My heart, and putting among My children — such despicable ones as no one else would notice or regard!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I pardon again and again, not only first offences — but repeated transgressions, forgiving and forgetting them forever!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore bear with such numerous affronts, such gross ingratitude, such inexcusable conduct — in My own people!

“I am God, and not man,” and therefore I invite, entreat, and beseech such base backsliders to return unto Me, and prove the power and freeness of My forgiving love!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I save freely, fully, and forever — such degraded, depraved, and desperate sinners, to the praise of the glory of My grace!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I remain faithful to My promises and covenant engagements, amidst all the changes and faithlessness of My fickle people!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I give such rich, costly, priceless gifts — to the poor, destitute, and unworthy sinners!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I hear, accept, and answer, such poor, imperfect, and worthless prayers — which, no one else could tolerate, much less approve!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore I work such wonders — wonders in providence, and wonders in grace; wonders in the world, and wonders in the heart!

“I am God — and not man,” and therefore, I have prepared such mansions, and will confer such a glorious kingdom — on sinners who have no claim upon Me, nor the least reason to expect any good thing from Me!

Yes, because He is Jehovah, and changes not — therefore we poor, sinning, changeable creatures are not consumed!

Believer, to you the Lord says, “I am God — and not man!” Therefore expect from Him as God — and act toward Him as God! He can do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that you can ask or think! Do not measure His heart by yours — but remember that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His thoughts higher than your thoughts, and His ways than your ways!

(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)

Hos 11:10 They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.

Hos 11:11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the LORD.

Hos 11:12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.