The Healer Of Waywardness
Walking through our front pasture a few days after a rain, the brown dead grass is soaking wet. If I look closely, already tiny blue bonnet plants are poking out of the ground and the dew will enable them to grow. Soon the spring will finally come and our field will be covered with wild flowers.
Throughout the winter our deeply rooted cedar trees have remained green, but now the males are filled with pollen. Hundreds of birds fly back and forth in, under, and around the cedar branches, and I have to keep chasing the squirrels away so they can get to their feeder. Even early in the morning, life is exploding around me.
When the Assyrians breeched the walls of Samaria in 722 massacring Israelites, it looked like it would never be green in Israel again. Hosea made it graphically clear that the Northern Kingdom was destroyed because of their hardened turning away from the Lord, but this was not Hosea’s final word. In yesterday’s devo he showed us what a prayer of true repentance looked like, and now he tells us how God will respond. He will be the life giving dew, and the nation will blossom like lilies in the spring and become again as strong as the cedars of Lebanon.
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger is turned away from him. I will be as dew to Israel.
He will sprout like a lily and send down his roots like the cedars of Lebanon.
His sprouts will go out. His splendor will be as an olive tree and his fragrance like Lebanon.
Those who dwell in his shade will return and they will be vitally alive like the grain. They will blossom like a vine. Just the thought of Israel will be like the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:4-17
Like Colorado in the summer for Texans, Lebanon was that magical, mountainous Shangri-La, lush and green. Hosea pictures a day in the future when his Jewish people will repent, turn to God, receive their Davidic messianic king, and the land of Israel will explode with life. And like I can begin to sense the power of spring walking across our front field here in late winter, through Jesus we can have God pour life, power, and restoration into our lives today by his grace.
LORD, thanks that there is going to come a day when Hosea’s Jewish people will to turn to their Messiah, the Son of David. Bless those who have already prayed Hosea’s prayer and received Jesus. Help them as they reach out to their fellow Israelis. Especially tear down the misconception that one has to give up their cultural identity to believe in Jesus.
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