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The book of Hosea ends with a rich gospel message: repent and turn to the Lord for healing. There was still time for Israel to find forgiveness in Him and to rejoice in His mercy. There is still time for us too!

BibleGateway: Hosea 14:1-9

ESV Text: Hosea 14:1-9

Hosea 14 (Listen)

A Plea to Return to the Lord


14:1   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 iniquity;
  accept what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    the vows1 of our lips.
  Assyria 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.”


  I will heal their apostasy;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
  I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily;
    he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
  his shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive,
    and his fragrance like Lebanon.
  They shall return and dwell beneath my2 shadow;
    they shall flourish like the grain;
  they shall blossom like the vine;
    their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.


  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.3
  I am like an evergreen cypress;
    from me comes your fruit.


  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
    whoever is discerning, let him know them;
  for the ways of the LORD are right,
    and the upright walk in them,
    but transgressors stumble in them.

Footnotes

[1] 14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit

[2] 14:7 Hebrew his

[3] 14:8 Hebrew him

(ESV)


KJV Text: Hosea 14:1-9

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 1:39

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     1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 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.

     4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 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.

     8 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. 9 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.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 362 :
My Soul’s Best Friend, What Joy and Blessing

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

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1. My soul’s best Friend, what joy and blessing
My spirit ever finds in Thee!
From gloomy depths of doubt distressing
Into Thine arms for rest I flee.
Then will the night of sorrow vanish
When from my heart Thy love doth banish
All anguish and all pain and fear.
Yea, here on earth begins my heaven;
Who would not joyful be when given
A loving Savior always near!

2. For though the evil world revile me
And prove herself my bitter foe
Or by her smile seek to beguile me,
I trust her not; her wiles I know.
In Thee alone my soul rejoices,
Thy praise alone it gladly voices,
For Thou art true when friendships flee.
The world may hate but cannot fell me;
Would mighty waves of trial quell me,
I anchor in Thy loyalty.

3. Through deserts of the cross Thou leadest;
I follow, leaning on Thy hand.
From out the cloud Thy child Thou feedest
And givest water from the sand.
I trust Thy ways, howe’er distressing;
I know my path will end in blessing;
Enough that Thou wilt be my Stay.
For whom to honor Thou intendest
Oft into sorrow’s vale Thou sendest;
The night must e’er precede the day.

4. My soul’s best Friend, how well contented
Am I, reposing on Thy breast;
By sin no more am I tormented
Since Thou dost grant me peace and rest.
Oh, may the grace that Thou hast given
For me a foretaste be of heaven,
Where I shall bask in joys divine!
Away, vain world, with fleeting pleasures;
In Christ I have abiding treasures.
Oh, comfort sweet, my Friend is mine!