Walk In His Ways.
“Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.” – Hosea 14:9 NLT
“Return to the Lord your God.” That is the appeal God makes in the closing chapter of the book of Hosea. He begs His unfaithful people to return and repent. He tells them to admit their sin, confess it, and simply ask for forgiveness. He tells them to reject their false gods and pseudo-saviors. They just need to return to God and acknowledge Him as the one true God. And He promises, “Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever” (Hosea 14:4 NLT).
God reminds His people that it is He who answers their prayers and cares for them. He is the one who provides for and protects them. All He asks in return is that His people walk in His ways. He expects those on whom He showers His love, grace, and mercy to respond in obedience to His will revealed in His Word. When we do we find that His ways are true and right. They lead to blessing. They bring peace, joy, and contentment. But too often we choose our own way. We demand to live according to our own standards. We refuse to listen to God’s command or follow His will for our lives. And we suffer. We reap the results of our disobedience.
God stands ready to restore. He wants to revive and rescue. He wants to bless and heal us. But first we must acknowledge our sin. We must turn from the other “saviors” we have made in our lives and recognize Him as the only true Savior. Ultimately, this book is about God’s faithfulness in spite of man’s unfaithfulness. God continues to love us even when we sin. He loves us even when we refuse to return that love to Him. But because God is holy and just, He must punish our sin. He must discipline us – because He loves us. He knows His way is better for us, so He brings discipline into our lives to encourage us to return to Him. He allows us to discover that our false gods and not really gods at all. Our replacement saviors can’t really save at all. And when we come to the end of our rope, He always stands ready, willing and able to restore us and rejoice over us. Because He loves us.
Father, You are faithful. You are loving. You are patient. You are persistent. You are God. Never let me forget that. Open my eyes to the replacement gods I make in my life. Show me the false saviors I turn to instead of You. Help me acknowledge that there is no God but You and no other Savior. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men