Archive for June 19th, 2013

Hosea 14

Hosea wraps up his prophecy in Hosea 14 by challenging the people to return to God.  “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity”.  The charge is pretty straightforward.  You’ve been floundering around on your own for generations, it is time to get back to the Lord and get your nation straightened out.  Sin brings us down, even a nation, when it is living in iniquity.  And be it as individuals or a nation, we need to get over ourselves, confess our sin, repent from our evil ways, and return to the Lord.  The same message Hosea delivered thousands of years ago applies to us today.

He calls out the real issue – which is pride.  “We will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands”.  Man has this issue of believing that we are in charge and what happens is a result of our efforts.  It isn’t.  Never has been, never will be.  God alone is the source of every good and perfect thing.  And when we take credit for that, it is sin.  But God still loves us, and wants us to come back to Him, in spite of our pride and sin.  And when we humble ourselves and return, He is ready to take us back with open arms.  “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. 5 I will be like the dew”.

God wants to bless us.  He is waiting for us to come back.  “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”.  And our return does not bring momentary or partial blessing during a trial period.  When we come back to God the floodgates of heaven open and He pours blessing on us.  When we dwell with Him, goodness pours into our patch.  So what’s the problem?  We can’t get over ourselves to come back to God.

We want to stay in control.  We want to buy into the lie that life is about us and God is just there in case we need help.  Hosea ends with these words: “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”.  The wise approach is to recognize that God’s ways are the best ways and we need to walk in them.  Being in an intimate relationship with God is not a sign of weakness, but rather wisdom.  Walking in His ways is not a lack of creativity or limiting our freedom, but sets us free to receive His blessing.  Oh that we would listen and heed Hosea’s direction.  Come to the Lord and walk with Him.  It is the formula to blessing and success!

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