Saturday 09 February 2013

Bible Book:

Hosea 14:1-9 Saturday 9 February 2013


The final chapter begins with a pleading from Hosea for thepeople to return to their God. Verses 1-3 are a kind of rationale,why the people should indeed do this and how they might phrasetheir approach when coming back to talk to almighty God. The toneof the chapter has changed from the previous one, which was gloomy throughout anddwelt on the graphic detail of the consequences of the sin of thepeople, to a more optimistic feel and the chance for change.

From verse 4 God is now talking through Hosea directly to thepeople, offering a kind of olive branch appeal for them to comeback to God. Again the harsh words of the previous chapter havebeen replaced with ones of love, healing and a fresh start. Godbeing likened to "dew" (v. 5) is very powerful indeed, implying akind of fresh covering over all the people and the land. Blossominglike a lily (also evokes a powerful image of beauty stemming fromnothing in order that a new start can begin.

The fact that the cedar of Lebanon is referred to putting downroots implies that there is a period of stability coming and one ofblessing because the tree is the national tree and a symbol ofpower, greatness and prosperity. From this new growth will comemany good things the people will enjoy and benefit from such asdwelling in safety under it branches and for vegetation to flourishand grow. Again, comes a great promise from God towards the end ofthe chapter 'I will answer him and care for him' (verse 8) implyingthat God will come to the aid of the people and be the answer totheir problems. The book ends with a climatic statement which saysof God "the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them,but the rebellious stumble in them" (v. 9).  So the people arepromised at the end that, provided they walk with God, their futureis assured.

To Ponder

  • To what extent does repentance always lead to blessing?
  • Is repentance always our first reaction when we know we havedone wrong?
  • What lasting thought will you take away from your reading ofthis book?

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