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What Can’t You Give Up?

[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:39

“What’s one thing you can’t give up?” the radio host asked. Listeners called in with some interesting answers. Some mentioned their families, including a husband who shared memories of a deceased wife. Others shared they can’t give up on their dreams, such as making a living in music or becoming a mother. All of us have something we treasure dearly—a person, a passion, a possession—something we can’t give up.

In the book of Hosea, God tells us that He won’t give up on His chosen people Israel, His treasured possession. As Israel’s loving husband, God provided her with everything she needed: land, food, drink, clothing, and security. Yet like an adulterous spouse, Israel rejected God and sought her happiness and security elsewhere. The more God pursued her, the further she drifted away (Hosea 11:2). However, though she had hurt Him deeply, He would not give her up (v. 8). He would discipline Israel so as to redeem her; His desire was to re-establish His relationship with her (v. 11).

Today, all God’s children can have the same assurance: His love for us is a love that will never let us go (Romans 8:37–39). If we’ve wandered from Him, He yearns for us to return. When God disciplines us, we can be comforted that it’s a sign of His pursuit, not of His rejection. We are His treasure; He won’t give up on us.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love that never gives up on me. Help me to love You wholeheartedly.


Hosea, a contemporary of prophets Isaiah and Micah, ministered primarily to the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Hosea 1:1). His prophetic ministry was unique because he not only communicated in words what God wanted to tell the Israelites, but he symbolically acted out these revelations (chs. 1, 3). Hosea was commanded to marry Gomer, a promiscuous woman, to show that “like an adulterous wife [Israel] is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord” (1:2). After Gomer’s unfaithfulness, Hosea was commanded to reconcile with her and to “love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (3:1). These tragic examples mirror God’s unrequited love for Israel. Despite Israel’s unrepentant unfaithfulness (chs. 1–3) and warnings of ominous punishment (chs. 4–10), God promises restoration and blessing, revealing how great and relentless His love is. In His mercy, God spared them (11:8–9); and in His grace, He will redeem and restore them (vv. 10–11).

K. T. Sim

By |2019-01-16T17:08:21-05:00January 17th, 2019|
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