Word of the Day, April 22, 2014
" I'll never know how much it cost. To see my sin upon that cross. I'll never know how much it cost. To see my sin upon that cross.”
1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Chapter 14 is a great chapter about exhortation to repentance and the promise of God’s blessing. We must first step back (please read today) to the whole book of Hosea. Hosea was a native of the North and was very familiar with Israel's evil ways. He was commanded to take a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom. This was just like Israel had become, a whore and departing from the LORD. Israel had was committing spiritual adultery, God the husband and Israel the unchaste wife.
There are many illustrations used to express the evil conditions of Israel throughout the book of Hosea. " The Valley of Achor", the door of hope for Israel. “Joined” to idols. “Mixed among the people”, no longer a separated and holy nation. “A cake not turned”, describes dough on one side, expressing half-heartedness. “Strangers have devoured his strength”, weaken by their evil association. “Israel swallowed up”, national identity lost. “A vessel wherein there is no pleasure”, the people marred and a useless vessel for the LORD. “The balances of deceit”, false business and unjust weights and dishonest business dealings.
Backsliding comes to mind for me when I read this book. Backsliding and idolatry is what the people of Israel where doing. (Me too) Are we doing this ourselves? Hosea closes his prophecy on a high note, God’s never changing love for Israel will one day bring her repentance and restoration to His full favor. This is true for us also. Give up the world that has become our idol. Stop backsliding and get right with the LORD today. “ The ways of the LORD are right and the just shall walk in them.” Thank you Father God for my restoration in my life through you.
“ Here I am to worship, Here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that You're my God. You're altogether lovely, Altogether worthy, Altogether wonderful to me.”