Read: Hosea 11:1-11
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. (v. 4 NIV)
The phrase “ties of love” from our passage reminds me of preschoolers walking with their teachers, holding tightly to a rope. This rope is for their safety, binding them together through the love and care of their teachers.
Hosea 11 pictures God’s beautiful love for his children. He says, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (v. 1). He taught them to walk, taking them by their arms (v. 3). “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them” (v. 4 NIV). What a beautiful image of God’s tender fatherly love for us his children.
Israel was determined to turn from God (v. 7). God used the marriage of Hosea to the promiscuous Gomer in the first chapters of Hosea to illustrate that he is faithful, and his love is deep for his children even when they turn away. God promised to be their God. Israel and God are bound together with ties of love—ties that cannot be broken. This is covenantal love.
And this is the love that God has for each one of us. Why? Because we are his children. We belong to him. We are tied to him in love. Picture him picking you up and holding you to his cheek and telling you, “I love you.” —Nancy Boote
As you pray, thank God for loving you so deeply.
About the Author
Nancy Boote is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America. She lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband. Besides being a mother, a grandmother, a song writer, and lover of horses, Nancy also has a heart for prayer, evangelism, and seeing racism dismantled.