Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! – Hosea 14:1
Divine references of blessings and curses, love and hate, warnings and approvals, good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness, darkness and light are all recorded in the inspired word of God. There is no complication nor complexity, but plain simplicity – choice. Choose ye this day whether it be right or wrong.
There were the major prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah and the minor prophets like and Hosea and Amos. Hosea preached in the northern kingdom of Israel during the troubled times before the fall of Samaria. He was deeply concerned about the idolatry of the people and their rebellion of God. Added to this was his own personal woes of an unfaithful wife. While he forgave her every time she committed adultery, he saw that he was an example of Israel’s rejection of God and his mercies of forgiveness for every occasion. “How can I give you up, how can I abandon you!”
I remember hearing a story of a wife who had suffered from a stormy marriage and was about to give up by putting her husband’s bundle of clothes at the door, but in her despair she caught herself and told him that while he was not good to keep, he was too good to throw away. The spirit of forgiveness is a powerful tool.
In our lesson text today, Hosea is calling for Israel to return to God and seek his forgiveness. “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall. Take words. With you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our hands have made, for in you the fatherless finds compassion.” – Hosea 14:1-3
O Lord, you show mercy to those who have no one else to turn to.
The Lord says, “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like the vine – Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me. Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. “ – Hosea 14:4-9
What powerful words for the nation today! Many times, in governments, the Speech from The Throne while offering a lot of good ideas about what will happen during the course of reign, at the close some tend to fall short. But today, know that God speaks from his throne – and his word will not fail. Those who believe and accept will be blessed – and those who refuse will suffer damnation!