God takes Israel back, someday
Israel prays a sinner’s prayer1Come back to the LORD your God.
Your sins tripped you up
Until you finally fell.
2Take words with you
When you go to the LORD.
Say, “We’re guilty, forgive us.
Please find in us enough goodness
To take us back.
We’ll keep our promises
In words and actions.
3Assyria won’t save us.
The cavalry isn’t coming.
We won’t call handmade idols
We’re helpless as orphans
Finding compassion in you.”
God: No charge for my love4My anger is gone.
I love you. No charge.
I heal your weakness to wander.
5Israel will welcome me like morning dew.
He’ll blossom like fast-spreading crocus.
His roots will take hold in the land
Like their growing Lebanon’s forest.
6His branches will spread
With an olive tree’s beauty.
And his life will be sweet
Like the cedars of Lebanon.
Life in the shadow of God7My people will live again
In the shade of my wings,
As flourishing bumper crops of grain.
And they’ll develop a solid reputation,
As sweet as Lebanon wine.
8Ephraim, what will you do about idols?
I humbled you once, but I’ll bless you now.
I’m as 24/7 as a cypress is green.
I’m the source of all that you need.
9Wise people know what I’ve just said.
The thoughtful all understand.
The way of the LORD is the right way to go.
And all good folks follow that path.
Sinners might try,
But they’ll trip in their trying.
This is a prayer of confession Hosea recommends the Jews pray after Israel dies, conquered by Assyria, with the people exiled to what is now Iraq. This prayer won’t save them from Assyria because Israel has to suffer the consequences for walking away from God. They wanted nothing to do with them, so he stopped protecting them and gave them to whoever wanted their stuff. Assyria took the bait and carried away the gold.
Crocuses in Lebanon’s fields and hills grow quickly and spread widely. They’re native to Lebanon and to neighboring nations.
Another name for the northern Jewish nation of Israel. Ephraim was the dominant tribe there, like Judah was in the southern nation of Judah.
The Hebrew word for the tree could describe pine, cyprus, or fir trees, such as Phoenician firs native to Lebanon.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.