Always a Way Back

Recently I sat down and through in one sitting the entire book of the prophet Hosea.  Ok it’s only 14 chapters.  When you read through an entire book of the Bible you get a feel for the entire sweep of the message; you get the ebb and flow.  As I read through Hosea, two things became crystal clear.  First, God was really, really angry about Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him.  But I saw in His anger, hurt; the pain of a scorned lover.  Their rejection resulted in judgment, yes, but also in sadness.  Second, I saw how He still loved His people.  In spite of their unfaithfulness, in spite of their going astray, He still calls them back to Himself.  Listen to what He says to Israel in the last chapter of the book

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.   I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.  They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

 It’s incredible to me that God would say this!  Any normal human being would simply walk away from a relationship like that, from that kind of deliberate, defiant rebellion.  Fortunately, God is not like us, with Him there is always a way back.

 So I want to encourage you with the message of the book of Hosea.  No, not the unfaithfulness part, but the return part.  It seems to me that there are times when we think we’ve gone too far.  We’ve sinned too greatly.  We’ve strayed too far to come back to God.  “There is no way He could ever want me back now,” we think to ourselves.  But if God could look at Israel in the midst of their infidelity and love them, certainly He will accept us too. 

 So no matter who you are or what you’ve done, there is always a way back to God.  Go back, no, run back into His arms.  He’s waiting for you.

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