Hosea 14 (Listen)
14:1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take with you words
and return to the LORD;
say to him,
“Take away all iniquity;
accept what is good,
and we will pay with bulls
the vows of our lips.
3 Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride on horses;
and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”
4 I will heal their apostasy;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily;
he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
6 his shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow;
they shall flourish like the grain;
they shall blossom like the vine;
their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like an evergreen cypress;
from me comes your fruit.
9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the LORD are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them…They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. (Hosea 14:4,7)
Despite Israel’s continuous sin, and ours, God chooses to show His incomprehensible love. The God of justice and mercy pours out His wrath on His only Son in order to give to us His healing mercy! In this heart-wrenching story of a prophet and a prostitute, we are given gospel glimpses of the depths of our sin and the heights of God’s forgiveness and love. Without ever saying his name, Hosea proclaims the saving power of Jesus Christ. Wherever you are, whatever you’ve done, remember that Jesus loves you! We are healed from the plague of sin to live freely in his free love! Abide and flourish in our great God!