People of the Spirit
Lord of the ups and downs of life, God for all seasons, meet and challenge me as I read Your Word.
Read Hosea 14:1-9
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.
“It is change, not time, that turns fools into wise men and sinners into saints” (A. W. Tozer).
The prophets spoke a message of judgment and hope. Joel’s message of hope was focused on the promised outpouring of the Spirit. Hosea spoke of, and demonstrated in his life, the unshakable covenant love of God who would not let his people go (11:8). He agonized over Israel’s failure to love God in return, and announced judgment on a faithless people. His prophecy ends with this glorious coda announcing God’s future blessing for a repentant people. Sadly Israel, the northern kingdom to whom Hosea prophesied, never enjoyed that restoration. Judah did, but only in part. Like so much of the prophetic hope, fulfillment waits for the longer term. Only in Christ are the people of God truly restored. Only through him is the anger of God dealt with and turned away (4).
In these verses there are promises of reconciliation and harmony (4), of fruitfulness and prosperity (5-7), and of a close relationship with God (8,9). We find this fulfilled in the reign of Jesus and the life lived in the power of the Spirit. There is also a condition: returning to God (1-3). The Hebrew word carries various meanings but frequently has a similar meaning to repentance in the New Testament. Hosea’s call and Peter’s call (Acts 2:38) carry the same message. Returning means recognizing that our only hope is in God (3); all other things that we might trust are weak and futile, be they idols, the power of Assyria or financial security.
We enter a new situation of acceptance by God, of forgiveness, healing and fruitfulness through the promise of God and our response of repentance and obedience. We cannot presume on the gift of God or the presence of the Spirit. They are conditional on our response. It is all too possible to grieve the Spirit and to lose the presence of God (1 Sam.16:14).
Make your own response to God now. What is he asking of you today?
Forgiving God, I agree with You about my sin and take ownership of my wrongdoing. Forgive me and remind me that with You my sins are forgiven, forgotten, forever.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.