Take With You Words

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him,Take away all iniquityAssyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, Our God,to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy. Hosea 14:1-3

In a culture of fractured civility, ruthless violence, almost non-existent courtesy; in a world rife with pride run amok, injustice, persecution, why is it so hard to admit sin? How can we see so clearly the splinters in others’ eyes and not the planks in our own? How can we be certain of another’s nefarious motives and not recognize the malice in ours? (Matthew 7:1-5) Hosea calls us here to return to the Lord, and specifically to use words when confessing sin. Name them, lay them out, pin them to the cross.

God’s word exposes us to its spotlight of truth, it’s standard of righteousness. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Taking time in it shows up our faulty thinking, convicts of our every unkind remark, sigh of spirit, condescending attitude, penchant for recognition, self-focused insecurity, prejudice against others and for our own comforts, inordinate affections. It takes discipline and desire to allow the Spirit to convict and teach us the words to bring in repentance, but the reward is great. (Hebrews 4:12)

Hosea goes on to say God will heal, love freely, turn His anger, be like our dew, cause to blossom and take root and spread out in beauty and fragrance and flourish beneath His shadow. What blessings we miss in not returning to Him! What goodness and fulfillment He has for us!

O God, I have heard Your call to return; I come. You are my God, my Lord and the strength of my salvation, and I know You hear the voice of my pleas for mercy. Cleanse, restore, that I may flourish for Thee. (Psalm 140:6)

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