February 21, 2011

Minor Prophets XIX: Grace: Ending On A Positive Note

Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” Hosea 14:1-3

Hosea’s prophecy ends on a positive note…at least if His people obey Him. We clearly see that repentance will bring blessing. Their sins have clearly been their undoing (v.1). If they seek the Lord and heed the words of His prophet they will be blessed. Deuteronomy 28 (The Law) clearly states the cost of disobedience. Although God’s people turn away from Him, He will not abandon them. Punish them, yes, abandon them, no (2 Timothy 2:13-“if we are faithless, He remains faithful-for He cannot deny himself). He pleads with His people to return to Him and turn their back on sin. They pray that if they return God will receive them even though He has every reason to reject them.

I see a shadow here in light of the other questions raised. We see the shadow of the New Testament fulfillment by Christ. We see the offer of salvation to a people that really do not deserve it but are willing to humble themselves, get their spiritual act together, repent and seek forgiveness. The futility of praying to other gods and or appealing to powers of society and culture does nothing but insure the demise or doom of the people.

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