It’s just how things are. God is truth. Truth gives things an inherent nature. The truth will out, it cannot be denied. Well not forever.
God made us capable of rebellion. In this chapter there are sweet images of God leading Israel with chords of love. Bonds of kindness. The gentlest control imaginable, purely motivated by our best interests.
Easy to refuse. Israel want to go back to Egypt; they can. The Assyrians what to conquer Israel. They can. Neither is good for Israel, neither is God’s ideal. Israel won’t acknowledge their creator. And God is torn at the fair outcome of rebellion: destruction.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
…My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.”Verse 8
God will call them back from Egypt. Call them back from Assyria. His son will come out of Egypt, as Jesus did.
Because of Jesus we understand that God suffers pain. We see how Christ’s incarnation is like the image of a parent with a small child given here, stooping down to lift us up, and hold us to his cheek. The immortal author of light and love experiences pain and death. It was always going to be part of God’s story.
Why a pandemic? It’s just how things are. The Governor of Florida and the premier of Brazil, a few politicians have tried the King Canute approach of denying realty.
But they face the inevitable, soaring mortality rates, regardless. And across the world, we value human life. We try to reduce the death rates, his instinctual.
It talks here about the people not being aware of all that God does for them in love. But the potential is there,because they have a moral dimension. Maybe he wrote rebellion in our hearts, and sadness into our minds, so we could know what love is.
God wrote pain into his own story and ours, death into his own story and ours, because we are a creation in his image. It is the nature of things, it is truth.