Originally published February 23, 2010

Before we leave Hosea, I want to take a quick look at the last chapter, where Israel is restored at last.  

I’ve been studying various translations, and today we’re going to do a little mash-up (Glee anyone?) and combine the translations.  Get excited, this is going to be crazy!

“O Israel, return to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, and return to the LORD.  Say to Him:

‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.  Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
(Hosea 14:1-3 NKJV, NIV)

Hosea is urging Israel to return.  To offer a sacrifice of repentance with their lips and acknowledge that nothing else can save them, not man, not horses, not the own work of their hands.  To boldly declare that all else pales in comparison to worshiping and loving their God.

God’s response?   

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….My people will again live under my shade.  They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.” 
Hosea 14:4-5, 7 NLT (emphasis added)

Upon returning and repenting God’s love will know no bounds.  He longs to bring us restoration and be a constant shelter to us.  But beyond that, not only does God promise to restore us, but He allows us to prosper and bear much fruit.  He wants to see us flourish.

Following this, God makes one final plea to His people,

“O Israel,stay away from idols!  I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.  I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”
(verse 8, NLT)

Now that you’re here, remain with Me.  Don’t run after the things your heart is telling you that you need.  I and I alone am the God who hears you, who cares for you, and who responds to you.  I am a flourishing tree of life ready to equip you to bear much fruit.  Stay with Me.  My love knows no limits and I can love you with a perfect, unfailing, redeeming love.  You are my beloved.

Not a day goes by where I’m not utterly moved by the idea that God is in love with me.  Not only does He love me, but my heart matters to Him.  Though I wander, He calls me back.  Though I’ve betrayed Him, He forgives.  Though I’m broken, He restores.

“I have seen (her) ways, but I will heal (her);  I will guide (her) and restore comfort to (her).” 
Isaiah 57:18



Below are the lyrics and video to a song called Restoration by David Brymer.  It has deeply ministered to my heart, and I hope it will to yours as well.
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You bring restoration
You bring restoration
You bring restoration
to my soul

You’ve taken my pain
called me by a new name
You’ve taken my shame
and in it’s place, You give me joy

You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take weeping and turn it into laughing
You take mourning and turn it into dancing
You take my sadness and turn it into joy

hallelujah, hallelujah
You make all things new, all things new