“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them” (Hosea 14:4 NIV).
In the King James Version, the term waywardness is not used–instead the term “backsliding” is used. Sometimes, varying translations tend to weaken the message and in this segment, I believe that to be true. Backsliding evokes a much stronger image of what it is that God wants us to understand–when we slide back from being obedient to God. Of course, we cannot be a backslider, if we never came to the knowledge of Truth and obeyed God. “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you…” (Jeremiah 3:14 KJV)
The point that Hosea is making here to the children of Israel is that when we (we are spiritual Israel) repent and call upon the Lord, turning away from the gods we contrive and manufacture with our own hands, He will forgive us and love us, anyway–turning aside His anger from those things we “did” (past tense), not are doing. His mercy is new every morning! When we mess up, we need to ‘fess up, and not to try to dress up our sins in cloaks of deception and lies, because God can see beyond our facade and He knows our hearts. We just to admit we were wrong and repent by turning from whatever it is that keeps us out of relationship with God and grab hold of the new opportunity we have to get things right with Him. We have been given another chance–do not mistake His grace and mercy for accommodation to sin.
Some of us have been given chance after chance to get it right! God is long suffering, patient, and He wants us to be in position to receive His best. And though He gives us chance after chance to get things right, there will come a time when He will simply close His ears to our cries. Unlike many parents, He will not be our enabler in wrong doing. Whatever we do, the consequence we get is on us-not Him. Turn from those things or those people who keep you from receiving God’s best and live the life He has planned for you!
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to get to place quickly where we realize we cannot live this life without You. Forgive us for taking Your grace and mercy for granted and provide us another chance to see You for who You truly are.