Hosea is calling for repentance. It starts with a recognition of the Lord and then acknowledgment of their error. This sins had blinded them; they couldn't clearly see the Lord or see the error of their ways. They were to return to the Lord and they needn't bring some great gift nor should they come bearing nothing. They were to take words with them; the words of repentance. This would be the sacrifice of their lips. God didn't want them to sacrifice an animal and make some religious offering. He wanted them, by their words, to offer themselves to him. Hosea even gave them an example of what these words might be. They were confession to their errors of the past and trust in their God, the only God, who can save.
These words are the same idea Paul had in Romans 10:8-10. These words are near, right there within reach. Why is it so hard then?
In the first chapter of Hosea we saw the children of harlotry. They were unfaithful and from that life they would experience and unfruitful and desolate existance leading to death. But God never stopped calling to them. He was their God and their hope. Those who would bring the words of repentance would experience new life; a new birth. They had the promise of healing and God freely loving them. He would be their Father and they His children. The promise is one of growth; a spreading out across the land. In the Lord would be found fruitfulness, fragrance, abundance and beauty. To dwell under the shadow is to be in God's love and care; to trust in Him. In spite of what was about to happen, and they wouldn't, or couldn't, believe it. But when they were in captivity, these would be their words of hope. Revival ws available in the Lord.
Once again, Ephraim might be fruitful to his brothers when they separate themselves from idols.
Who is wise? It's he who realizes these things and understands them. Who is prudent? It's the one who heeds the warning and can clearly see the righteousness and holiness of God and the wretchedness of man. It is wisdom that hears the call and answers. We are called to God, today; now! We often think it wise or prudent to put this off, to delay it for a season. Why do we do this? Because we are deceived into believing we can hold onto our sin for a time; because deep down inside we know we know God will remove iniquity. Often we hold those iniquities like old friends we are so fond of and can't imagine living without; like a drug addict holding onto the thing that is bringing desolation and killing them.
God's ways are right. We tend to accept this statement when we can fully understand how that applies to our life and we are assured it doesn't look too hard. But right is right; and trusting in the Lord means walking in these ways. This is the walk of the righteous. This same path will be a path of stumbling to the transgressor. For us, we need a new heart with new desires. The old heart wants to stumble and bumble along holding fast to the idea that we can find a good and comfortable way. But, when we die to our self, and trust in Christ we are imputed with His righteousness. Our eyes and ears are suddenly open.
The sin of pride and self righteousness bring death, but with new righteousness comes new life to dead souls. Prais God we can find this in Christ.
"As where we have protection we owe allegiance, so where we have salvation, and hope for it, we owe adoration." (Matthew Henry)
©2016 Doug Ford