In this chapter, God is angry at Israel and the tribe of Ephraim. They have sinned greatly, and since at this point the people are divided, they’re being treated separately from Judah. There are various curses and threats shared, but what I want to focus on is the final verse of the chapter. “I will go away and return to My place until they admit their guilt and seek My face; in their straits they will seek Me (Hosea 5:15).” What does it mean for God to step back and leave? For God to remove Himself from a person or a people is a massive loss. In light of this being the week of Thanksgiving, I’m feeling reflective, and one of the things that I’m thankful for is my consistent belief that God is present. While this verse teaches that if we’re bad enough and God gets frustrated He may choose to leave us, I truly believe that God is constantly with us whether or not we feel it. It’s a time of great upheaval for the whole world, and it’s very easy to get caught up in daily realities and tragedies and forget the larger picture. Staying grounded is hard, but a belief in being part of something bigger than ourselves is what keeps me hopeful for our world. Happy Thanksgiving!