God is a God of love because God is love (II Cor. 13:11; I John 4:8). When John says that God is love we know, therefore, that it is an intrinsic part of His nature and that it is perfect in every respect. It’s expression is also perfect. When God stated that He loved Israel He says that He loved them with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3). It is a love that does not end or fail.

In describing His relationship with Israel, the Lord presents Israel as a child, newly born from Egyptian bondage (Hos. 11:1). God said that though He loved Israel as a son and drew him with bands of love (Hos. 11:4), though He took them by the arm and led them, they did not know that He healed them (Hos. 11:3). THey were bent on backsliding and rejection of the Lord’s call. But even so, God’s love for them was such that He could not give them up (Hos. 11:8). His love tempered His anger against their rebellion (Hos. 1:9).

Because Israel is His people, formed and created by Hs power, called by name, there should be no fear (Is. 43:3,4). Through the most difficult of times, through high water and hot fire, God’s beloved will neither drown nor burn (Is. 43:2,3). God’s people are precious in His sight (Is. 43:4) and therefore should not fear for God will be with His people (Is. 43:5).

The fullest expression of God’s love toward man was manifested when the Saviour appeared (Tit. 3:3,4). Though we were “sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another, nevertheless, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Eric L. Padgett