Hosea 14:4-8 @ 03:30
I’m not quite back from vacation yet, but I am back in the state and at a computer. I’m on a 28.8kbps connection. Took over a minute to download the banner picture. I think it would be a more efficient use of my time to write out this post on fine stationery and hand deliver it to each of you. But here I go anyway.
Last night at the campsite I woke up about 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I went and sat in the car and stared at trees for about half an hour while drinking a New Glarus (WI) Spotted Cow Bottle-Conditioned Ale (2 1/2 stars). Then I remembered. Often when I’m up for no reason at 3am God wants to impress something upon me from his word. The last time it happened was about 2 years ago and I learned from 2 Samuel 7 that life is not about building a house for God, it’s about God building a house for you.
This time I ended up in Hosea 14:4-8.
“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 my 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. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.”
Notice the connection between healing and fruitfulness. The Hebrew word for “their apostasy” means “their turning away” or “their backsliding”. The application: Keep hacking at the tree of your besetting sin, for although there is no relationship between your progressive sanctification and your always unfettered access to God and your unchanging standing before God in the imputed righteousness of Christ, there is a connection between healing/holiness and fruitfulness/power in ministry. (cf. 2 Tim 2:21) We all need the fruit of one another’s holiness. So keep hacking.
And while you hack, be strengthened by the fact that this promise is “Yes” for you in Christ.