August 04, 2011

God's Garden of Righteousness

Hosea 14

“I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily.”
Hosea 14:5


I had done something wrong, and I was in trouble. I’ve long forgotten what it was, but I’ll always remember what happened after my father finished disciplining me. As he hugged me, he told me that he still loved me— and always would. Those words were deeply comforting.

Hosea 14 speaks the same comforting words to God’s rebellious children. Israel’s sin had led to their downfall. Like a wayward wife and a rebellious child, Israel had severed its relationship with God. Instead of relying on God, Israel sought peace through political alliances with Assyria. The people trusted in military strength for safety. They worshiped handmade idols instead of God.

Now the punishment has passed, and God is calling his child back. Even better, God promises to heal wayward hearts.

Like Israel, our hearts are prone to wander from God. But when we believe in Jesus, God changes us so that we are able to love and serve him wholeheartedly. Like morning dew that waters dry ground, God’s love nourishes our hearts so that we become a garden of righteousness. God’s love transplants us from a life of restless wandering into the soil of his Word, so that we bring forth a life of obedience.

How is your life producing the fruits of your relationship with God?

Lord, forgive us when we wander from you. Nourish us with your loving compassion. Help us bear fruit in our relationship with you. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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