READ: Hosea 13-14
THINK: This is such a powerful passage of Scripture. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by God’s love and faithfulness when you read it. Chapter 13 lays bare the rebellion of God’s people and the way that their affluence and peace caused them to pridefully believe that they did not need him. Continually God provided. Continually God protected. Continually God loved. Continually God blessed. And how did they respond? They turned their backs on him, ignored him, rejected him, and chased after the world.
It is almost incomprehensible to think that the nation of Israel would do that. How stupid could they be, right? I have a difficult time wrapping my mind around it until I think about my own life. I think about how God has never forsaken me, not for one single moment. I think about the countless ways in which he has shown faithfulness, love, protection, and provision to me. And then I consider my sin. The times, even today, when I have turned my back, when I have chased after worthless things, when I have swelled up with pride and believed that I don’t need God at all. I am Israel. They are me. And we are both so pitiful!
And then I read Hosea 14 and it completely overwhelms me. I can barely get through that chapter on an emotional level every time I come to it. Because God doesn’t just leave Israel – or me or you – in that pitiful spot. He doesn’t just abandon us to the brokenness we’ve chosen. He doesn’t give up on us even when everything about us indicates we’re worth giving up on. Instead, he loves.
And in Hosea 14:4-5 he makes 3 powerful “I will” statements that form an incredible foundation of hope for sinners like us. He says, “I will heal their waywardness, I will love them freely, and I will be like the dew to them.” It is no mistake that these promises are arranged in this order. Instead, it is a very intentional way of God communicate hope to his people.
Mercy. Love. Refreshment. The past is wiped out, the present is love, and the future is glory. His mercy covers us, his love defines us, and his sovereignty guarantees that all things will be made new! That is a hope for wayward sinners that cannot be found anywhere else. It is only in the Creator God who loves us so passionately that he never stops pursuing us, even to the point of death.
If that doesn’t shake you up and break you down and totally overwhelm you, nothing will.
PRAY: Just sit in awe of God’s love for you and faithfulness to you. Let is wash over you right now. Drown yourself in it. Let his mercy engulf you. Let his love define you. Worship him for being the one who makes all things new.