Hosea has just spent 13 chapters of doom and gloom prophecy regarding the spiritual state of Old Testament Israel. In chapter 14 we get the vital call to repentance. The call to change their thinking and actions and turn to God.
They have stumbled because of iniquity – their thoughts, words and deeds have not been good ones. They have sinned and sinned badly. The Lord is beckoning them to return to the “Lord your God”. God is theirs. He is in relationship with them, having called and chosen them. Israel had sadly chose to turn away and needed to re-turn!
Verse 2 tells us what returning or repentance look like.
- It takes words – they need to speak out with words specifically what they have done wrong. Not a weasely “If I have offended you I am sorry” – that’s not repentance! Repentance requires us to speak out what is wrong and acknowledge our part.
- It takes some action “return to the Lord” – there’s some movement required. I’m sorry for looking at porn and then carrying on looking at porn is not repentance. Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at young women again Job 31:1
- An acceptance of good – a change of thinking means replacing bad thoughts with good ones. We need to do that in so many areas of our lives and especially sinful thought patterns.
- Sacrifice “we will pay with bulls” – thankfully Jesus has been and made a God sized sacrifice to cover all our sin. Thank God for His grace.
- Culture or living in a Christian nation won’t save us “Assyria”
- Possessions won’t save us – like horses v3
- Our works – the works of our hands are not our God. That can mean idols we have made or the idolatry of what we do.
God’s response is breathtaking!
He will heal, he will love freely and his anger is turned away v4.
He will provide refreshing – dew;
He gives a beautful fragrance to our lives – blossom and
He will root us strongly so we don’t get blown about;
If you are wise and discerning – you will understand and know these things (v9)