Restore and Heal
Heavenly Father, I thank You today for my family, friends and loved ones. They are such a precious gift to me.
Read HOSEA 14:1-9
 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!  Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.  Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.”  “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.  I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots;  his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.  Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine, and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.  O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.”  Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do we learn about God here?
This chapter concludes Hosea’s heartfelt call back to true worship of the Lord. He, too, has an unfaithful wife, and feels God’s deep pain as time after time he forgives Israel, only for her to stray again. Now God calls for a sacrifice of words: words of repentance, words of confession and a promise not to return to idolatry (2). He longs to show his love and to heal. Israel’s restoration is described with the imagery of trees. They will be rooted firmly, suggesting constancy and faithfulness, rather than waywardness. In dignity they will provide shade and protection like cedars (5). Peace and God’s provision are evoked by the olive tree, and the land will know abundance and blessing like a blossoming vine (7). God himself is a pine (8), the source of all fertility, both physical and spiritual. Look also for references that remind you of Jesus: for example, the tree evokes the cross, and Jesus called himself the true vine. Hosea looks forward to a day of repentance and restoration when God’s people will know his life, abundance and blessing, as indeed they do because of the cross.
If you have any broken or damaged relationships, bring them to God and ask him to show you what to do.
Lord Jesus, You healed my relationship with the Father. I pray that You’ll heal all the relationships in my life.
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