Reading

  • Hos. 10:1-15; 11:1-13:16; 14:1-9
  • 2 Kings 14:17; 2 Chron. 25:26-28
  • 2 Kings 14:21; 15:1-2; 2 Chron. 26:1, 3
  • 2 Chron. 26:4-5
  • 2 Kings 15:4
  • 2 Chron. 26:2, 6-10, 15, 11-14

Devotional

Despite GOD's wrath towards His rebellious children and His firmness of intent to punish them for their sins, He remains ever ready for them to repent and willing to take them back. GOD says through the prophet Hosea:

1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. 2 As they called them, So they went from them; They sacrificed to the Baals, And burned incense to carved images. 3I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. 4 I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them. 5 “He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent. 6 And the sword shall slash in his cities, Devour his districts, And consume them, Because of their own counsels. 7 My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him.

8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. 9 I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror. 10They shall walk after the LORD. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west; 11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, Like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses,” Says the LORD.
(Hos. 11:1-11 NKJV)

1 O Israel, return to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity; 2 Take words with you, And return to the LORD. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. 3 Assyria shall not save us, We will not ride on horses, Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”

4I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, And lengthen his roots like Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread; His beauty shall be like an olive tree, And his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; They shall be revived like grain, And grow like a vine. Their scentshall be like the wine of Lebanon. 8 “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’ I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.”

9 Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.
(Hos. 14:1-9 NKJV)

What a forgiving nature our GOD possesses! Who but Him could willingly forgive (wipe away) such a long list of sins as Israel possessed if they would but repent? Always remember: No matter how far you ever get from GOD it is not so far that He cannot reach you. After all, He created you and all that exists in the world. To forgive your sins, no matter how great, is not a challenge for the Almighty!

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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