Wake-up Call!

Read: Hosea 14

Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. (v. 1)

A call in the middle of the night is never a good thing. When my phone rings in the wee hours, my mind begins to race: Are my parents okay? My adult children? My grandson? I’m praying before I even pick up the phone!

Similarly, God didn’t send prophets to his people when things were going well. The books of the minor prophets of the Old Testament are “wake-up calls,” focusing on warning and judgment. God’s people had turned from him to worship worthless idols. In the book of Hosea, Israel is compared to Hosea’s unfaithful wife, Gomer, who left to chase after other lovers. But despite Gomer’s unfaithfulness, God commands Hosea to take her back—a picture to Israel that God would welcome them back if they returned to him.

Hosea 14 promises blessing and healing to those who repent of their sins and return to the Lord. “I will heal their apostasy,” the Lord vows, “I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them” (v. 4). Even in the midst of their backsliding, this “wake-up call” offers hope for restoration of Israel’s relationship with God. Then, like vigorous plants grown under his shadow, the nation will blossom and flourish (v. 7).

True repentance is always the first step to restoring our relationship with God. He has promised to hear and to heal. He is a generous God! —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, thank God for the restoration that comes through repentance.