Have you ever been rejected by a rebellious child? Back when she was young and helpless, you lovingly cared for her. You protected her, clothed her, fed her, and taught her how to live. She clung to you because she recognized her need for you.

Then when she began to think she was big enough to take care of herself and make her own decisions she became defiant. She refused to follow your rules. She laughed at your wisdom. She turned away from your embrace. She may have looked right at you and declared “I don’t need you. I can take care of myself. I know what I’m doing. Leave me alone!”

If you are a parent you’ve probably experienced this at least to some degree. If you haven’t, then your kids are probably still young. Just wait, it’s coming. Many of us have even been heartbroken by our children actions or rejection.

Recently, I’ve been reading through the book of Hosea. If you’ve ever read it, then you know that God told the prophet Hosea to marry an adulterous wife. Then God used Hosea’s grief-filled life as a word-picture to illustrate His own relationship with the nation of Israel. Well, as I read the book, I was struck with the similarities between the way we respond to God and the way children sometimes treat their parents.

Here’s what I noticed about how we as sinful humans naturally respond to God’s love and care:
1. Hosea 13:4 – God saved us, just like He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. In this relationship, He requires and deserves our complete obedience and faithfulness.
2. Hosea 13:5 – God cares for us, guides us, and provides for our needs.
3. Hosea 13:6 – But when we have everything we need and are satisfied, we become proud and forget about God.
4. Hosea 13:7, 9 – God’s judgment is sure because we have turned against Him, our rescuer.
5. Hosea 14:1 – God calls us to return to Him because our sins have “been our downfall.”
6. Hosea 14:2-7 – God promises to heal, love, bless, and forgive if we will come back to Him in repentance, reject our idols, and acknowledge His compassion.

I have rejected God many times because I felt self-sufficient. Like a rebellious teenager I wanted to do things my way. In my pride I have “bitten the hand that feeds me.” What about you? Do you need to return to God today?

Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

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