Everyone who has had a child watch for that big event. The taking of the first step. It is a sign of development. A sign of courage by the child.
And a celebration ensues. Mom and Dad congratulate the child profusely. Encouraging them to try again. Not to give up. The parents are there to catch the child if they stumble or fall. And if the child does fall the parents ease the pain with lots of love and more encouragement.
Just like in the reading from Hosea today. Hosea uses the image of God the Father to help His child, Israel as he takes his first step. What a loving image of God. A parent helping his precious child take those first steps.
And God knows how often His child will stumble. And we know how many times Israel stumbled. But each time our loving God hugs His precious child, cheek to cheek, and encourages His child to try again.
Sometimes people claim that God is too vindictive or too cruel. Obviously, they have not read Hosea. Our God is a living God. He does not want His children to suffer. But just as a loving parent when His child stumbles and falls He is there to offer comfort and encouragement. God is always there for you.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen