Today’s Reading: Hosea 13-14, Joel 1-3
Today’s Reflection: Hosea 14:1
Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
As with many of the writings of other prophets, after enumerating Israel’s sins, the book of Hosea ends with a plea from God. Israel, Judah and the half tribe of Ephraim in particular had turned from God and began to worship idols. In the midst of this God calls for His people to return to Him and gives them the promise that He will welcome them, cleanse them from their sins, and restore them to perfect peace.
When we make really big mistakes in relationships with people sometimes those relationships end. Some betrayals are so great they require that an ending, at least for long enough to allow the hurt party to heal. Sometimes those relationships never have the chance to start again. Sometimes we lose people for a lifetime because of sin.
Sometimes we think God is like people, that He may be so offended by our sins that He can never forgive us. Or we may think we have to wait out His anger for weeks, months or even years before we can be forgiven and restored. But thankfully for us God is not like man (Isaiah 55:8). As soon as we recognize our sin and turn to Him, God is ready to embrace us and begin the process of restoring us to right relationship with Him. It’s what He sent His only son for (John 3:16).
Just as God promised Israel, you too can return. You can go home again, after all.
Hosea 14:12 – 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 upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.