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God’s Tender Love

Today's Devotional

Read: Hosea 11:1-4 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 3-5; Luke 14:25-35

To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek. Hosea 11:4

A 2017 video of a dad comforting his two-month-old son while the baby received his routine vaccinations garnered international attention for the way it captured a dad’s love for his child. After the nurse finished administering the vaccinations, the dad tenderly held his son close to his cheek, and the boy stopped sobbing within seconds. There’s almost nothing more reassuring than the tender care of a loving parent.

In Scripture, there are many beautiful descriptions of God as a loving parent, images that invoke God’s deep love for His children. Old Testament prophet Hosea was given a message to deliver to the Israelites living in the Northern Kingdom during the time of the divided kingdom. He called them to return to a relationship with God. Hosea reminded the Israelites of God’s love for them as he pictured God as a gentle Father: “when Israel was a child, I loved him” (Hosea 11:1) and “to them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek” (v. 4).

This same reassuring promise of God’s loving care is true for us. Whether we seek His tender care after a season where we’ve rejected His love or because of pain and suffering in our lives, He calls us His children (1 John 3:1) and His comforting arms are open to receive us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

How have you experienced the love of God as a caring Father? What concerns might you bring to Him today?

Heavenly Father, thank You that You call me Your child and provide tender care when I run to You.


Given Hosea’s assignment to demonstrate love, it should be no surprise that he’s been called “John (the apostle of love) of the Old Testament.” God told Hosea to “go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods” (Hosea 3:1). Descriptors for this kind of love include words like relentless, ceaseless, loyal, unconditional. It’s a pursuing love; one that releases one from slavery and bondage (11:1), pursues those who stray (v. 2), and accompanies its objects in various stages of development because they’re loved (vv. 3-4). Believers in Jesus are no strangers to God’s tender love. The one who “demonstrate[ed] his own love for us . . . while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) is the one who loves us enough to pursue us when we stray (see Hebrews 12:5-6).

By |2024-04-18T02:33:13-04:00April 18th, 2024|
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