"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Hosea 11:1-9 Commentary
by Michael J. Chan
“Sorrow and love flow mingled down” from the lines of this poem.1
The poet draws on imagery from across the spectrum, as if grasping desperately for a metaphor, however inadequate, to capture the turmoil brewing in God's heart. Israel is a recalcitrant son (v. 2), idolatrous (v. 2), an ungrateful patient of the divine healer (v. 3), livestock (v. 4), recipients of divine tenderness (v. 4), and ultimately hell bent on turning from God (vv. 5, 7). All of this imagery is used to communicate one thing: Despite God's history of tender care and concern for Israel, God's people consistently reject that tender care in favor of following their own inclinations. Israel has what one might call a “bound will.”
The poem begins with a painful recollection of times God showed love and tenderness to Israel, only to be rejected time and time again (vv. 1-5). Israel’s “childhood” is recalled when God called his son out of Egypt (v. 1). The sweetness of this experience, however, is quickly soured by Israel’s disobedience. The text summarizes ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
November 15, 2015
This podcast discusses Hosea 11:1-9, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Nov. 15, 2015.