Hosea

Those interested in a prophetic picture of America and the Lord’s attitude toward nations that continue to practice and legalize evil, I suggest reading through the book of Hosea a few times. There are a lot of passages in there that seemed relevant to me, such as:

And while those verses for the most part deal with consequences of sin and how sure God’s judgments will be, look at how He finished the love letter:

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sins have brought you down.
Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.
Assyria cannot save us,
nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made,
‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone
do the orphans find mercy.”

The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever.
I will be to Israel
like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
it will send roots deep into the soil
like the cedars in Lebanon.
Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
My people will again live under my shade.
They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.

Forgiveness. God’s always ready to extend forgiveness… He’s eager to. As we learned at IHOP, what makes us think the Holy Spirit doesn’t love His job [of convicting us and leading us to repentance]? What makes us think God doesn’t love forgiving us? He isn’t reluctant to; He loves doing it.

And so while in year’s past I may had read through Hosea with condemnation in my heart toward unrepentant America—and the unrepentant American church in particular—I now read with a more-broken heart (which could stand to be broken much more). I’m starting to understand the heart of the Father.

“Return, O America, to the Lord your God…”

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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