Summary: To get the inside track on what we gain by returning to God in repentance
The Benefits of Repentance
Hosea 14:1-9 (NLT)
A. The Invitation of the Initiating God .
V. 1 says “Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for your sins have brought you down.”
God brings the invite… understands where we all come from i.e. downfall from our sinful life – life spiraling out of control. He is not rejecting us, can we hear this? He is still after us! Wants us!
B. The RSVP
v.2-3 2 Bring your petitions, and return to the LORD. Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you the sacrifice of praise. 3 Assyria cannot save us, nor can our strength in battle. Never again will we call the idols we have made ‘our gods.’ No, in you alone do the orphans find mercy.”
Invitation needs RSVP - God still wants to hear from us words of repentance … can you hear again that He is not rejecting us. Now is the time of salvation, of grace! See the Cross of Christ!
Our RSVP needs to come from our hearts and it includes these things:
a. ask for forgiveness - “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us”
b. adore Him – “offer …the sacrifice of praise”
c. acknowledge dependence on God alone – “Assyria cannot save us, nor can our strength in battle.”
d. absolute allegiance to God who gives mercy - “Never again will we call the idols we have made ‘our gods’.”
When we come to God based on His invitation, His initiation, He will receive us when we RSVP with our hearts!
C. The Benefits of Repentance as outlined by God:
1. Salvation (v.4) :
Idea of healing, rescue, redemption - cured of backsliding, waywardness is healed, cure goes to core of soul, “love them freely” (NIV) speaks of unconditional acceptance given freely and unlimited supply – “and my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever!” His love indeed as Psalms declare endures forever! Check out God’s redeeming love for a prostitute ala Hosea, oh how He pursues, and loves!!
2. Sustenance (v.5)
Instead of dried out, dead, idea of life-giving moisture – with the newness of day, morning instead of old dying stuff, idea of refreshing sustenance
“5 I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven…”
3. Satisfaction (v.5b)
“It will blossom like the lily…”
feeling of satisfaction when see Blossoms – flowering beauty as the dew refreshes, there is enjoyment as people see it, so will God’s beauty be magnified in His people as they open up to Him, a welcomed enjoyment, pleasure felt, delight, inward joy sprouting - God’s people will blossom, and becomes a thing of beauty, sit back and enjoy
4. Strength (v.5c-6)
“it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon. 6 Its branches will spread out like those of beautiful olive trees, as fragrant as the cedar forests of Lebanon.”
Imagery of roots going deep into the soil and branches spread out, and fragrant – tells of how strong magnificient like the cedar. good SCENT - nice smelling only if they repent and know their God of grace. 2 Cor.2:14-16 (NLT) states: “wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. 15 Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those being saved and by those perishing. 16 To those who are perishing we are a fearful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved we are A LIFE-GIVING PERFUME.”
5. Safety (v.7)
7 My people will return again to the safety of their land…”
There is benefit of protection from damage …
6. Super Economy (v.7b)
“They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines. They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.”
Thriving flourishing, prosperous “easy street” idea – if return to God - results in abundance seen in growth, prospering with great results, and resulting also in fame – famous as celebrated wines of Lebanon.
7. Secured warranty (v.8)
8 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who looks after you and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green, giving my fruit to you all through the year.”
God is like a tree, giving fruit, year round… it will not fail! Warranty effective - as long as we look to Him to provide.
D. So what to do (v.9)?
First, Check out the benefits… anything wrong here? Look it through… examine and see if this is not what you really want... put a microscope to it… can we understand those benefits. NIV says “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them.” Are these words merely empty promises?