Hosea 14:1. O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.
When we fall by sin, we must regain our comfort by going back to the place where we lost it: “Return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” Then, to help us return, God, through his servant, actually makes a prayer for us.
Hosea 14:2. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord:
“What words am I to take?” asks the poor convinced sinner. “I cannot put words together.” Here are the words put into your mouth: —
Hosea 14:2. Say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
Come with humble confession, come with sincere repentance, come with earnest supplication, come trusting to the grace of God, come bringing your heart with you, and rendering it to God as a living sacrifice.
Hosea 14:3. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
If you come to God to be saved, you must bring no other saviour with you. What an encouragement is given to us to come to God! He calls himself the Father of the fatherless. O thou, whose soul is orphaned, thou who art left disconsolate in a world of grief, come thou to him in whom the fatherless find mercy, for so shalt thou find mercy!
Hosea 14:4-5. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel:
“Swiftly and mysteriously will I come and refresh him.”
Hosea 14:5. He shall grow as the lily,
Quickly, beautifully, —
Hosea 14:5. And cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
He shall be as permanent as he is fair, like a cedar as well as like a lily.
Hosea 14:6. His branches shall spread,
The dew of the Lord imparts influence to men; it gives them, as it were branches, with which they cast a wide shadow.
Hosea 14:6. And his beauty shall be as the olive tree,
The beauty of fruitfulness. God grant all of us this beauty!
Hosea 14:6. And his smell as Lebanon.
Oh, to stand in holy repute among men, so that there is a fragrance going forth from us, like the sweet odours from the wild thyme and other products of Mount Lebanon!
Hosea 14:7. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
When God blesses men, he also blesses those round about them. Your children, your servants, your neighbours, shall all be the better if the grace of God comes to you. So may it be!
Hosea 14:8-9. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise? and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.