I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him… [Israel’s] branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree…Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.—Hosea 14:4
God doesn’t just forgive us when we repent.
He loves us “freely.”
We make a mess of our lives. We come to God in repentance, sorry for our stupidity and sin, and He heals and blesses us. That’s the way it works. That’s amazing grace.
When the children of Israel repented, God’s anger melted into love.
He blessed them with a fresh anointing, evidenced by dew, flowers, fragrance, beauty, and shade. A chance to be revived, and nourished back to health and beauty. When someone knocks around in the world, giving themselves away to false gods and sin, they need that refreshing and an opportunity to be renewed.
He also gave them stability. Nothing makes us feel more insecure and unsure of our place in the world than sin. One of Satan’s best tactics is to lure us into unhealthy situations, then strip away our sense of security and love.
God longs to restore us to emotional health, secure in His love.
“Revived like grain… grow like a vine…like the wine of Lebanon.” Once we are healed and secure, God gives us new growth, and our lives bear fruit that is rich and scented like new wine. Our gifts and talents will blossom and bless others. His love will be reflected in our lives!
What a beautiful picture. How can we not love a God who loves us so much?
“Let not a repentant sinner imagine that he is remote from the estate of the righteous because of the sins and misdeeds he has done. This is not true, for he is beloved and precious to God as if he never sinned.” —Malmonides, Mishneh Torah, 1170 A.D.