vs 1 – Recalling Jacob (Israel) as a child who became a man, moved his family to Egypt and became a nation.
vs. 2 – When things got tough for the nation Israel, God helped them escape from Egypt and make the journey back to their homeland. But the people were influenced by the cultures around them. The Baals were a plethora of gods. The people worshiped them through child and animal sacrifice and temple prostitution.
vss. 3-4 – Ephraim was the younger son of Joseph son of Jacob (Israel). God took care of Ephraim and the nation Israel in its infancy. He chose them and taught them so that they could proclaim God to the world.
vss. 5-6 – But Israel rebelled and ran away from God.
vs. 7 – Israel was determined to be independent. God is the creator and has every right to destroy his creation, just like a potter who makes a pot that doesn’t turn out right so he throws the clay out and starts over. God destroyed the cities of Admah and Zeboiim (along with Sodom and Gomorrah) but he does not want to destroy Ephraim or Israel. God’s anger is tempered by his love. God remains compassionate but lets people do what they will, which often has disastrous results (e.g. the prodigal son).
vss. 10-11 – We end with a message of hope. God’s voice will sound like a lion, loud and scary. His children will come to him meekly from all over the world. And God will settle them into their homes. Is this a vision of the second coming? Wouldn’t it be nice if God had a home for everyone? Some homes in heaven with God. Other homes, not with God, but homes just the same. There are people on earth who love their homes and are very happy with their lives even though God is not present. Would they be satisfied to live in that house for eternity? I’m just sayin’.