Much of Hosea denounces the sins of Israel and the judgment that will come. But judgment and chastisement come from hands of love, not hatred. In Hosea 11, we see how much it pained the Lord to chasten His people and how much He loved them.
God reflects on His love from the beginning. He called them out of Egypt and brought them up in love like a father and his son (v.1-4). Instead of faithfulness, the people turned away from Him and loved idols. As a result, they would be enslaved, killed, and destroyed (v.5-7).
Yet, at the same time, He was letting them know what would happen, God’s heart was breaking (v.8). He could not bring Himself to totally give them up and to wipe them out (v.9). After a period of chastening, they would once again go free and come back into the land (v.10-11).
The love of God is amazing in this passage. They did not deserve it. They had spurned it many times, yet God would not forsake them completely or totally give them up. That’s the kind of love God has for us as well. When we believe on Jesus, we may go through periods of unfaithfulness and even idolatry which bring God’s chastisement. But God can never give up on us or forsake us. He loves us far more than we deserve or could ever imagine!