“Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?
How can I let you go?
How can I destroy you like Admah
or demolish you like Zeboiim?
My heart is torn within me,
and my compassion overflows.” (Hosea 11:8)
There s good news for those of us who know the Lord, but find ourselves struggling: Your God loves us! And he will not let us go. Yes, he is holy. Yes, his Spirit grieves over our sin. But he loves us, and longs to heal and comfort us if we will only return to him. He does not hate us, nor is he waiting for the chance to “get” us. Oh no, quite the contrary; he is waiting, even yearning to have compassion on us and restore us to himself.
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces;now he will heal us. He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.” (Hosea 6: 1-3)
Although the Father does discipline his children, those whom he loves; it is for our good that he does so. It is his love that tears and breaks so that we might see our need and return to the One who waits from on high to have compassion upon us. As surely as the sun comes up in the morning, we can be certain of his kind intentions towards us in Christ.
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,for your sins have brought you down.Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.
The Lord says, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever.
I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon.” (Hosea 14: 1, 2; 4-6)
We may have been faithless. But he is faithful. We may be dry and all but withered. But he will refresh us and cause us to blossom once again. His love for us knows no bounds. It is he that has saved us and called us by name. He has not forsaken us though we may have wandered from him. Come now; let our broken hearts drive us to him. Don’t run away in fear. There is One who has born our sin, and poured himself out that we might receive mercy and know the love of God. This is the One who lives that we also may live, free from the sin that has beset us. He offers forgiveness, healing and restoration.
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10: 12)