July 18 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 20–22 , Acts 21:1–17
People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like the vine.
Today's Scripture & Insight:
Hosea 14One of the most moving songs in the musical The Greatest Showman is “From Now On.” Sung after the main character comes to some painful self-realizations about the ways he’s wounded family and friends, the song celebrates the joy of coming back home and finding that what we already have is more than enough.
The book of Hosea concludes with a similar tone—one of breathless joy and gratitude at the restoration God makes possible for those who return to Him. Much of the book, which compares the relationship between God and His people to a relationship with an unfaithful spouse, grieves Israel’s failures to love Him and live for Him.
But in chapter 14, Hosea lifts up the promise of God’s boundless love, grace, and restoration—freely available to those who return to Him heartbroken over the ways they’ve abandoned Him (vv. 1–3). “I will heal their waywardness,” God promises, “and love them freely” (v. 4). And what had seemed broken beyond repair will once more find wholeness and abundance, as God’s grace, like dew, causes His people to “blossom like a lily” and “flourish like the grain” (vv. 5–7).
When we’ve hurt others or taken for granted God’s goodness in our life, it’s easy to assume we’ve forever marred the good gifts we’ve been given. But when we humbly turn to Him, we find His love is always reaching to embrace and restore.
By: Monica La Rose
Reflect & Pray
When have you experienced or witnessed restoration beyond what seemed possible? In what areas of your life do you need reassurance of God’s promise to heal and restore?
Loving God and Creator of Life, teach me to trust in Your goodness—not just when I’m good, but all the time.
InsightThe story of Hosea is remarkable! God tells His prophet to marry a promiscuous woman (Hosea 1:2–3)—one who would be repeatedly unfaithful. Why would God command this? Hosea’s sordid marriage to Gomer is a picture of the relationship between God and His unfaithful people. Israel and Judah were characterized by idolatry, a sin that included literal prostitution practiced by the cult of Baal. Gomer lives out this sin, and Hosea feels anguish similar to God’s. The disloyalty of His people resembles Gomer’s infidelity. Yet God instructs Hosea to rescue his wayward wife. Hosea buys her back from her life of prostitution (3:1–2). This is the stark and startling picture of how much God loves His people.
By: Tim Gustafson