The Call to Return

O ISRAEL, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.

Hosea 14:1

As I have been reading through the prophets, so far from Isaiah to Hosea, I have noticed that most of their message is one of coming, impending judgment.  The nation of Israel had rejected the Lord and had wandered from Him.  So, in love for His people, God sent the prophets to warn the people of what was coming.  For the most part, the books of the prophets are not encouraging.  Outside of glimpses here and there of God’s mercy and grace, the majority of chapters and verses deal with God’s judgment on both His people and the nations around them.

However, another thing I have noticed about the prophets is that there is a constant call to Israel to “return.”  There are so many times I have noticed that the Lord gives His people the call to return.  It would be an interesting study to see just how many times in these books that that call is given.  Here again we find a verse that tells Israel to “return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”  I find these verses encouraging.

Despite all that the children of Israel had done, despite all of the times they had rejected the Lord, despite all of the straying and wandering that they had done, God was still calling to them.  He still hadn’t given up on them.  And He doesn’t give up on us.  When we stray from Him, and disobey Him, He could immediately destroy us.  But He doesn’t.  He keeps working on us, calling us to return to Him.  As the Psalmist said, He is truly “longsuffering.”  I am thankful that our God is merciful and longsuffering!

 

4 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you, Ben

    ” When we stray from Him, and disobey Him, He could immediately destroy us. But He doesn’t. He keeps working on us, calling us to return to Him. As the Psalmist said, He is truly “longsuffering.” I am thankful that our God is merciful and longsuffering!”

    Return … the option we thankfully still have.

    I was told some years ago that God never destroys without first warning … If He says return, then we ought to run towards the Safe Harbour that He is 🙂

    Blessings,
    ann

    Reply

  2. I’m so thankful that He is merciful and longsuffering too, Ben. Praying to heed His call to return anytime that I start slipping away.
    God bless you as you encourage us in Him!

    Reply

    • That’s the thing. Most people think of backsliding as being far, far away from God. But really, just forgetting Him here and there can lead to some backsliding. We don’t want any!

      Reply

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