Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously. Hosea 14:2
“BROKE” was the street name Grady answered to and those five letters were proudly emblazoned on his license plates. Though not intended in a spiritual sense, the moniker fit the middle-aged gambler, adulterer, and deceiver. He was broken, bankrupt, and far from God. However, all that changed one evening when he was convicted by God’s Spirit in a hotel room. He told his wife, “I think I’m getting saved!” That evening he confessed sins he thought he’d take with him to the grave and came to Jesus for forgiveness. For the next thirty years, the man who didn’t think he’d live to see forty lived and served God as a changed believer in Jesus. His license plates changed too—from “BROKE” to “REPENT.”
Repent. That’s what Grady did and that’s what God called Israel to do in Hosea 14:1–2. “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. . . . Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously.’ ” Big or small, few or many, our sins separate us from God. But the gap can be closed by turning from sin to God and receiving the forgiveness He’s graciously provided through the death of Jesus. Whether you’re a struggling believer in Christ or one whose life looks like Grady’s did, your forgiveness is only a prayer away.
What sins separate you from God? Are you ready to confess your need for Him and receive the forgiveness that He’s provided through His Son, Jesus?
Father, search my heart for anything that may contribute to my downfall and distance from you. Cleanse me, forgive me, and use me for Your honor.
Hosea 1:1 provides the reader with something of a time stamp that opens the so-called Minor Prophets (not minor in significance or value, but books that tend to be smaller in size than the major—larger—prophetic books like Isaiah and Jeremiah). Hosea began his prophetic role during the reign of King Uzziah and continued even into the reign of King Hezekiah. This lets us know that Hosea served during the years prior to Israel’s exile to Assyria and Judah being taken into Babylonian captivity. The prophet’s primary message was to call the people of Israel back to covenant faithfulness and to remember the Deuteronomic laws that were given to guide them in walking with God. Nevertheless, the seeds of spiritual rebellion that would provoke Israel’s captivity are found throughout Hosea’s writings. In fact, the verses in today’s reading (Hosea 14:1–4) are the prophet’s recommended prayer of repentance for Israel’s repeated idolatry, which constituted spiritual adultery against God.