Focal Passage: Hosea 14:1-9
There’s a sense in which all of us should long for the Day of the Lord, also known as Christ’s return. God has put that longing inside us, but that longing goes beyond us as well! All of Creation is groaning! (Romans 1)
And we can feel the magnitude of it each time we look at tragedy or sorrow and desire justice for injustice. Dylan Roof going into a church and gunning down nine people in hatred. A gunman walking into an Orlando nightclub, killing a mass of people, a bomber wreaking havoc on the city of Boston.
Consider the historical trajectory of warfare. In 1945, America was the first nation in history to have the ability to rule the world uncontested. Only America had an atomic bomb at that time. This was an opportunity to rule the world, but America walked away from it. They had power and chose not to wield it.
But the bomb in 1945 is a toy compared to what other nations have today. I thank God nobody has used those weapons. But why hasn’t it happened yet? The only possible reason — in God’s providence, patience and mercy, He has restrained it. Our only hope is in His restraint over the madness of this world.
Nevertheless, we long for the new heavens and new earth according to His promise (II Peter 3). In the darkness of our time, we rely on the promise of God. Nothing is more certain! We may consider His return a delay, but He is being patient, desiring repentance!
Hope and judgment. The final words from the Lord found in Hosea 14 are not hopeless ideas of death and disaster. God wants to give life and blessing to His people and He promises restoration. Words of hope and power are dripping from this chapter. Just look at verse 4: “I will heal; I will love; My anger has turned away!” Verse 5 gives us a picture of God Himself as dew – life-giving moisture to the plant life in Israel in dry summer months. But these things will only happen if the problem of sin is dealt with and removed. How will that happen?
Repent and believe. This passage pleads with us to repent. Repentance is less talked about in our time, but no less critical and biblical. Repentance is not turning a new leaf, feeling slightly remorseful, or bringing a gift to God to bribe or appease Him.
We like to do our own thing and expect everyone to accept it. Our culture makes light of sin, but let’s be honest — so did the people in Hosea’s time! In Hosea, sin is seen as rebellion and prostitution! At the end of the day, there’s a choice for each of us — judgment for sin or hope through repentance!
Those who choose hope through repentance believe that Jesus was judged for our sin, taking our place on the cross. Repentance is God’s way of entering a relationship with people. God alone can turn death into life, a dry field into a flourishing garden. While there’s still time, repent! Turn from your sin and turn toward Jesus! II Peter 3:9 reminds us while there’s time, repent! He’s not a good way to a better life. He’s the ONLY way to eternal life! B&R