Three Strikes

Kelly Slaybaugh

Read: Hosea 11:8-11

How can I give you up, O Ephraim? . . . for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. (vv. 8-9)

“Three strikes and you’re out!” While this rule applies to baseball, this principal also applies to our world today. We only seem to get so many chances in our lives to get things right. Too many mistakes and we are out.

Israel consistently made mistakes. God made a covenant with the people of Israel, but they did not hold up their end of the bargain. Despite God’s love for them, they constantly turned away from God and put their faith in idols. In our world, we would expect God to throw in the towel, to abandon his promise as they had abandoned theirs—to call them “out.” However, in this text we strangely find the exact opposite. God expresses that despite all that Israel has done, he can’t give up on them. He upholds his end of the bargain even when they do not uphold their end. Even in his hurt and anger, God’s compassion for them is rekindled and he promises that while things will get bad for them, he will return them to safety. He will come through for them and return them to their homes.

Do you feel like you have made too many mistakes for God to still love you? Take heart this day that God is not man. His grace will not allow him to give up on you. —Kelly Slaybaugh

As you pray, thank God for never giving up on you.

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