Hosea 11:1-10 (The Message)

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1 "When Israel was only a child, I loved him. I called out, 'My son!' - called him out of Egypt. 2 But when others called him, he ran off and left me. He worshiped the popular sex gods, he played at religion with toy gods. 3 Still, I stuck with him. I led Ephraim. I rescued him from human bondage, But he never acknowledged my help, 4 never admitted that I was the one pulling his wagon, That I lifted him, like a baby, to my cheek, that I bent down to feed him. 5 Now he wants to go back to Egypt or go over to Assyria - anything but return to me! 6 That's why his cities are unsafe - the murder rate skyrockets and every plan to improve things falls to pieces. 7 My people are hell-bent on leaving me. They pray to god Baal for help. He doesn't lift a finger to help them. 8 But how can I give up on you, Ephraim? How can I turn you loose, Israel? How can I leave you to be ruined like Admah, devastated like luckless Zeboim? I can't bear to even think such thoughts. My insides churn in protest. 9 And so I'm not going to act on my anger. I'm not going to destroy Ephraim. And why? Because I am God and not a human. I'm The Holy One and I'm here - in your very midst. 10 "The people will end up following God. I will roar like a lion - Oh, how I'll roar! My frightened children will come running from the west.
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