Dream word – HOPE
Hosea 14:1, 2
“O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, and return to the Lord.”
Last night we went to our friends for a meal. As is our custom in the United Kingdom, we appeared hungry on their doorstep clutching a gift and last night, the gift was wine. On other occasions it might be flowers or even chocolates, no matter really, for the purpose of these gifts is not really to contribute to the meal, no, as these gifts, almost always received with smiles and an “Aaah, thank you so much” are often laid aside by the recipients for later and private use! No, these gifts are given to honour the received invitation to dinner, to up front and immediately say to the hosts: “Thank you” and “We value this time, this space, this meal and all your careful preparation”. Now, it isn’t really a problem if you turn up to a dinner invitation without a gift, yet I have observed that such a gift goes a long way in putting the waiting parties at pleasant ease with their long awaited guests, even in oiling the gears of conversation and especially in opening up some smiling dialogue. A prepared package goes a long way to make a pleasant evening.
Israel had most certainly blown it with God. In the most dreadful of ways, they had betrayed Him and dishonoured Him. Looking at their dire situation, humanly speaking there appeared to be no going back. It was hopeless. Sin had tripped them up and thrown them face down in the mud, where they had then engaged in smiling orgies with their neighbours, openly and fearlessly cavorting even before God’s watching and horrified, hurt and angry face. Humanly speaking, there was no coming back from this.
Yet God here holds out hope of a restored and renewed relationship with Himself, even an invitation to dine again with the offended King of ages and look, the beginning of that restored and renewed relationship was for Israel to turn up at His door with a gift, with a package, even a package of prepared words.
The right words, at the right time, go a long way in oiling the gears of conversation and especially in opening up some smiling dialogue. Yes, a prepared package of right words goes a long way to ease the hurt of a broken heart and make no mistake about it, God’s heart here, was most thoroughly broken.
Some of you tonight and all of us at some time will have to go and knock on someone’s most greatly hurt and offended door. Maybe even God’s! When you do, be sure you to take words with you. A gift of words, a prepared package of the right words, for the right time.
Listen: “O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity; take words with you, and return to the Lord. Say to Him, ‘Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, You are our gods. For in You the fatherless finds mercy.’” NKJV.
Pray: Lord, our sinful actions always in the end, seemingly orphan us. Yes, we become bastard children, unkempt, wild, hard and hurt, seeking satisfaction from anything and anyone but You. So, wallowing in our wantonness, our sin is an open sewer for all to see. Please, take away all our stinking sin and receive us undeserving sinners, with Your great and unmerited favour and we shall thank You for it, Yes oh God, we shall sing Your praises for it! For no-one else can save us, especially not our own acquired prestige and power. No, we shall not bow to those damnable liars anymore! We have orphaned ourselves and all we can do is come with these words, placing them at Your gracious feet, waiting for Your most kind response, for we have heard and we believe, that you, the great God and Father of mankind, are merciful to the fatherless. We lay these words at Your most gracious feet then and now wait patiently for Your goodness. Amen.
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