For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.
“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah or demolish you like Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy. (NLT)
When (or if) we become parents, we are setting ourselves up for much love and at least some occasional pain. Our children or grandchildren don’t always reciprocate our love. Some families are sadly estranged. The love poured into the young child is not returned in any significant way once that child grows up. There is an understandable sense of grievance and betrayal.
If that is how you feel, God certainly knows how you feel. He loves his people and yet must justly execute judgement against them. He longs not to do so. They may have utterly turned their back on him but God is unable to turn his back on them. He both rebukes their wrongdoing and reaches out in love to them. This reflects some parent’s approach to their children. A mixture of outrage and compassion, disapproval and mercy.
They say parenting is a life sentence. Our children are never “off our hands”. We will always be the mother or father. Hopefully we will always love them even when that love seems absent in return. We will reserve the right to speak uncomfortable truths while not severing our ties with them.
Just like God does with us. Our faithful Father who knows too well the pain of parenting.