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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/3/11 Hosea 14 Fruitfulness with God

1 Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!
2 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.
3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.
5 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;
6 his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—   Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper; your fruitfulness comes from me.”
9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Thoughts: Verse 4 us the turning point- "I will heal their waywardness and love them freely."  When they bring words of forgiveness into God's presence- asking for his mercy, He will be merciful.  The vision of what happens when we turn back to God is a vision of tremendous fruitfulness.  There is wetness, life, blossom, growth, fragrance from the bloom.  The wise do not seek to rebel against God, but understand that the Lord's ways- found in scripture- is the right way.  Rebels fall tripping themselves up, but those who turn to God are helped.  It is the same today.  If we return to God- turn  back to Him- He will love us so freely and mercifully. 

Prayer: I turn back to you, O Lord.  Cause me to blossom and bear fruit for you. 

John Calvin Abridged: They had not only been deaf to God, but also mute to Him.  So now God bids them to not only be attentive to the word of the Lord, but be prompt to respond.  God is not generous toward people because he expects or demands anything from them (for what can we give/ render to the Lord?).  Yet He still requires thanskgiving- a sacrifice of praise.

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