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The Reconciliation (Hosea 14:1-9)

A Confession:
Father God,
Forgive us all our sins and receive us graciously that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
Other people cannot save us,
we will not rely on our own resources.
We will never again say “our gods” to what our own hands have made,
for in you, we, the fatherless, find compassion – personified in your son Jesus Christ.
Through his death you can and will forgive us.
And so in his name we pray.
Amen.

Hosea 14 (Listen)

A Plea to Return to the Lord

14:1   Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God,
    for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
  Take with you words
    and return to the LORD;
  say to him,
    “Take away all iniquity;
  accept what is good,
    and we will pay with bulls
    the vows1 of our lips.
  Assyria shall not save us;
    we will not ride on horses;
  and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
    to the work of our hands.
  In you the orphan finds mercy.”
  I will heal their apostasy;
    I will love them freely,
    for my anger has turned from them.
  I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he shall blossom like the lily;
    he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;
  his shoots shall spread out;
    his beauty shall be like the olive,
    and his fragrance like Lebanon.
  They shall return and dwell beneath my2 shadow;
    they shall flourish like the grain;
  they shall blossom like the vine;
    their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
  O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
    It is I who answer and look after you.3
  I am like an evergreen cypress;
    from me comes your fruit.
  Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
    whoever is discerning, let him know them;
  for the ways of the LORD are right,
    and the upright walk in them,
    but transgressors stumble in them.

Footnotes

[1] 14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit
[2] 14:7 Hebrew his
[3] 14:8 Hebrew him

(ESV)