Hosea 14:1–9 ‘People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the corn…’ (v7)
We might breathe a sigh of relief when we read the hope-filled last chapter of the book of Hosea. As we read for thirteen chapters, we faced the ongoing heartbreak of Hosea and his wife, which symbolises God and His people.
A major part of that story is the protracted courtroom scene where God confronts His people with His case against them.
The sadness and betrayals have been intense, but then in this last chapter, we reach a loving conversation between God and, on behalf of the people, Hosea.
As we read, the image that may strike us is that of a young shoot pushing its way up through the ashes.
Though the ground above has been decimated by fire, and though what remains is black and grey, under the surface new life has been preparing to break through.
The spot of green amid the pallor of death brings hope amid despair. So too in our lives. We might think we’ve completely blown a relationship or that we’ve sinned too much and are beyond redemption.
But sometimes people surprise us, responding to our requests for forgiveness with grace and joy. And God never gives up on us.
We can embrace the mercy that He always sends in the place of judgment, and the grace that He longs us to accept rather than the condemnation of the world.
God loves to bring forth new shoots even in the midst of ashes. How can you welcome His new growth in your life today?
A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord of new hope and new growth, please strike within me the faith and belief that You will act. I want to trust in You. Amen.’
An Action To Take:
If you’re able, consider picking up rubbish in your community as a way of fostering joy and hope in your neighbours.
Scripture To Consider:
Isa. 11:1& 44:21–23; Eph. 1:3–10; Heb. 9:11–15