How can I give you up?
The book of Hosea tells the story of Israel’s relationship with God being corrupted by their adulterous relationship with false gods. It’s a stomach-churning account of people who deserved annihilation.
But there’s a touching sentence in chapter 11, where the grieving God asks: “How can I give you up, Ephraim (Israel)?”
Exegetes say it means two things: 1) How can I give up on you? 2) How can I give you up to enemies who will enslave you? Moved by incomparable love, God cannot give them up.
That’s the way it is with God. No matter how far you’ve strayed, he can’t give up on you or give you up to an enslaving passion, person, or possession. “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8).
You may not have God’s approval—
but you have His love.