Hosea 14As we begin to close in on the end of the Old Testament, we enter the words & warnings of various Prophets who were sent to both Israel (AKA Ephraim) and Judah in an attempt to get them to turn from their sin and back to the Lord before disaster struck. Unfortunately, as we have seen over and over now, the people did not listen. They were too consumed in their own lives to pay any mind to that crazy, long-haired Bible freak on the street corner.

After a heavy dose of OT perhaps you begin to get a bit shell-shocked by the calamity. It just seems so much about doom and gloom and impending destruction on the horizon. But, here at the end of the words of Hosea we catch another glimpse of the true heart of God. It isn’t about punishment or inflicting casualties… it is tenderness and yearning above all else to bless and protect His people.

Look at how it starts in verse 1…

“O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled and fallen,
[visited by calamity] due to your iniquity.”Hosea 14:1

Notice that (once again) we are told that the reason for calamity visiting people is because of sin. It isn’t because God is teaching people stuff or trying to purify them by fire… it is because they have ignored what He said and went their own way into disobedience. The same is true today!

Look at verse 2…

“Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to Him, Take away all our iniquity;
accept what is good and receive us graciously; so will we render [our thanks] as bullocks
[to be sacrificed] and pay the confession of our lips.”Hosea 14:2

Here God is literally giving the people the script to come to Him with in repentance in order to stave off the impending doom. It is like He wants them to pass the test SO BADLY that He is giving them the answers to the test!

That is His heart… not to punish or inflict disaster… but to save.

Fast forward a bit to verse 4…

“I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for My anger is turned away from [Israel].
I will be like the dew and the night mist to Israel; he shall grow and blossom like the lilyand cast forth his roots like [the sturdy evergreens of] Lebanon.
His suckers and shoots shall spread, and his beauty shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance
like [the cedars and aromatic shrubs of] Lebanon.
They that dwell under his shade shall return; they shall revive like the grain
and blossom like the vine; the scent of it shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?
I have answered [him] and will regard and watch over him;
I am like a green fir or cypress tree; with Me is the fruit found [which is to nourish you].”Hosea 14:4-8

Notice the words God uses to describe what He really wants to do for His people?

Heal – Grow – Blossom – Return – Revive.

The Truth could not be clearer!

God wants to bless His people… He has always wanted to bless His people. When under the Blessing, people find healing, growth, green, blossom, etc. In fact – even those who dwell under that person’s shade experience the Blessing! With God – fruit is found.

Repent – obey – and live under The Blessing.
Be Fruitful & Multiply,