When Israel was a child, I loved him
A popular television program for the past few years has been the PBS Antiques Roadshow. If you have seen the show, you know that appraisers travel around and assess the value of items people bring in to them, much to the people's delight or disappointment. I watched one episode in which a woman had some old toy trains that her great, great uncle had made. They were made entirely of wood and had many intricate moving parts. The appraiser had never seen anything like them before. But alas, he said, this is exactly what makes them worth very little. Since they were so unique, there was nothing to compare them to when determining their value. I'm afraid they aren't worth much at all, he concluded. Surprisingly, the woman wasn't disappointed. The unique trains remained highly valuable to her. She knew the difference between value and market worth. This is similar to the way God sees us. Our reading today from Hosea reminds us how sinful the people of Israel were. But that didn't keep God from loving them. Even if we feel we don't amount to much, we are profoundly valuable in God's eyes. God sees all our imperfection and loves us anyway. There's nothing blind about love like that. It's the very thing that enables us to see how good God's love really is.
Lord, we often get confused about how valuable we are. Help us to see ourselves as you see us and to love others as you love them. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!