God told Israel’s prophet to announce the good news to His suffering nation. “You are My people,” and “You have received mercy.” The pathway to that desired blessedness, however, would also necessitate receiving His Word of correction. The Lord used Hosea to tell the truth about Israel’s spiritual adultery. He even brought discouragement upon His beloved bride for a time with the intention of making it more difficult for her to chase after false gods.
Through all the years of waywardness, God was still providing for Israel. “It was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.” There would certainly be consequences for their sin, yet throughout the centuries the Lord’s intentions were always working towards the very best result.
God would bring Israel a new beginning. He would “bring her into the wilderness” again and “speak tenderly to her.” He would provide bountifully for her and “make the Valley of Achor,” which was once the place of a national disgrace, into “a door of hope.” Yes, there would be divine discipline, but it would all lead to a much better future.
The Lord would sanctify His elect, removing idolatrous worship from their lives. He would renew a holy relationship with His chosen ones. “I will betroth you to me forever.”
How can we have confidence that even God could produce such a glorious outcome? What if every fresh start for Israel and for the New Testament church eventually devolved into another failure because of our wayward hearts? The destiny of God’s family is secured by His own works of salvation rather than our religious accomplishments. Because of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we will not only hear Jehovah’s encouraging words of assurance to us, but we will also testify faithfully and truthfully of our love for Him. He shall say, “You are My people.” And we will reply to Him, “You are my God.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, there is hope now for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We should put away our waywardness, for we have been redeemed by Your Son. When we look back upon our lives, we hate our rebellion against You. You continued to provide for us day by day, and yet we used Your good gifts for increased disobedience. Our idolatrous affections were no good for us at all. Turn us back home again, and keep us far away from the love of sinning. Open up our hearts to the new life that is ours in Christ. We receive Your covenant faithfulness toward us with sincere amazement. Our glorious God, Your grace is great, and Your mercy is very powerful.