Todays readings.. Nehemiah 4, Hosea 14, 1 Thessalonians 3&4
I WILL HEAL
Today completes our reading of the prophet Hosea. Nearly all the messages that God gave to his people through this prophet are severe warnings of judgement coming on them because of their idolatry.
However the prophet completes his scroll by receiving from God a positive message. God says of Israel, “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them, I will be like dew to Israel … they shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine … [14 v.4,5,7]
We can reach no certain expectation of the immediate future for Israel today from the words of Scripture, but their ultimate end is clear. They have returned, miracles of deliverance have occurred; to a considerable degree they have flourished and it appears they have dwelt beneath God’s protection.
The final climax will come for them and us at the time God has appointed – Joy for all who possess the true precious faith – but for God’s nation? Zechariah’s prophecy will be fulfilled, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn …” [12 v.10] But the outcome of that mourning is that their Lord “will heal”.
Coming back to Hosea we note the very last verse. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things … for the ways of the LORD are right and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them” Those words sum up the principles of life in the sight of God in a nutshell. Israel have had their time of stumbling, but those among them who sought to serve their God, and that covers a long period of time, will be there.
Let us renew our efforts to walk uprightly! We will all need God’s mercy, but those who, despite their failings, sincerely seek to be “upright” – God says, “I will heal … I will love them freely.”