God’s response to repentance

Today’s readings: Hosea 10:1-14:9, Jude 1:1-25, Psalm 127:1-5, Proverbs 29:15-17

In Hosea 14, the prophet pleads with Israel to return to the Lord in repentance and humility.

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
    for your sins have brought you down.
Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
    Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
    so that we may offer you our praises.

How will God respond to this? It’s all good news that keeps getting better as the chapter continues.

The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
    my love will know no bounds,
    for my anger will be gone forever.
I will be to Israel
    like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
    it will send roots deep into the soil
    like the cedars in Lebanon.

Hosea then finishes his writing with a summary statement that applies to me today as much as it applied to Israel over two thousand years ago.

Let those who are wise understand these things.
    Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
    and righteous people live by walking in them.
    But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

This is the end of Hosea’s prophecy to Israel. He lived a personal morality play because God asked him to do that. He prophesied from a broken heart for the sake of all those who would read his words in the centuries to come. I look forward to meeting Hosea in heaven and seeing the joy on his face for faithfully serving his Master and King.

Dear Lord, May we be the wise who understand your ways. May we be the discerning people who listen carefully to your truths. May we be the righteous people who live our lives by walking in your paths. Amen.

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