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Hosea 14 (Hallelujah!)

In this final chapter of Hosea we can look forward with relief and humility towards God's loving restoration of the prodigal people.


Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

Hosea 14:1 NASB

In Chapter 6, the people cried out to return to the Lord, but all of their focus was on what the lord would do for them. Here, the Lord wants them to focus on their iniquity and their need to return to Him before they can expect any of the healing and prosperity they called for on their own in Chapter 6.

The DC Talk has an old song, Be in the Light, in which they confess that self is a disease. And it is fatal. Israel called for a return to the Lord, seemingly, to ease their misery. but the Lord called for their return because that is the right order of things, and recognizing the sin between you and the Living God is the first step to redemption.

In verse 2 He asks for just that, a focus on confession. And an admission that being received by the Lord if you do return to Him is an expression of His graciousness, not your entitlement. He had been so faith, compassionate, and loving over the centuries that they came to assume He would receive them. He tells them now what He needs to hear from them. He won't accept "lip-service"; He expects a broken and contrite heart.

After confession and admission, He asks for recognition of reality. They should have never trusted in Assyria, or horse and chariots, or idols. Only in the Lord does the orphan find mercy.

And in verse 4 we find the salvation we all really need.

I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them.

Hosea 14:4, NASB

Did you catch it?

Did you breath it in and find new life in your dry bones?




Why is this such a big deal? How did this change the whole world?

This is where the Hosea/Gomer metaphor breaks down, as all metaphors do...Hosea can forgive mightily. He can love mightily. He can even try and forget the pain from the many hurts. But what we can receive from God alone is healing from our apostasy, which is a word for the abandoning of one's religion.

Not just forgiveness of sin; but a healing of the disease of self that was fatally ending your life. How?

Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" And Peter said, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 2:36-38, NASB

For God to heal our apostasy, it had to come from the heart; and since our heart was dying from the disease of self, He made us new creatures in Christ, with the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Now we can be healed. Probably not overnight, and not fully until we go Home; but we are changed when we follow His plan for salvation.

Back to Hosea.

In verses 5-7, As part of this future healing and redemption, He promises to be like the dew to Israel, blossoming like a lily, this time taking root like the cedars of Lebanon. This time it's permanent.

  • growth
  • beauty
  • fragrance
  • provision
  • abundance
  • renown

Verse 8 is a last sign toward the current season of failure for Israel. Failure to recognize where their fruit came from.

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 righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them.

Hosea 14:9 NASB

And on that bittersweet chapter, we bring the book of Hosea to an end.

He gives us the two evergreen choices: life vs. death; blessing vs. curse; wisdom vs. folly.

This season of my life, the last months, has been one of myriad health issues. Some related, some random, and all stretching out longer than I could have imagined. When any end was in sight, some other issue arose stretching out the rough road even further.

I have to admit that Hosea has not made this season better. Somehow the repetitive nature of the prophets accusations and indictments has felt like a grind. I haven't had the same enthusiasm that I felt for much of the rest of the Old Testament so far.

Now imagine that from the perspective of the Lord. Centuries of grace, mercy, favor, forgiveness, coaching, disciplining, and repeating the same warnings over and over and over and over and over.

Tedious? Clearly.

The unimaginable love, long suffering, and faithful of our God- as He works to bring us all Home- is unfathomable. Time after time after time after time. Person after person after person after person.

And then sending His Son. Losing His Son as the propitiation of MY sin. He made a covenant and He is keeping it- for his Glory alone. I didn't earn it. I don't deserve it. I am at the mercy of the King who keeps the covenant He made with me long before I was born. Before I even needed it, He made a way.





I have been Gomer. I have been Israel.

And now, I am a child of the Most High God. His Temple and his servant.

It's been a hard season. But the fruit makes it worth it.

Hallelujah. Amen.

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