Comment: This final chapter comes like One
holding out an olive branch of hope.
of Israel: If you come back [v.1], if you repent [v.2], if you
recognise other nations cannot help you [v.3],
2: Then you will
know God's love [v.4], and His blessing on you [v.5-7]
3: All it needs
is to turn from idols [v.8], the wisdom to see the truth in these
is a beautiful chapter of potential reconciliation – if only Israel
will heed it!]
ONE: v.1-3: Requirements of Israel
A call to return
Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
Speak words of repentance to the Lord
words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
‘Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
Accept that Assyria cannot help you
cannot save us;
we will not mount war-horses.
We will never again say “Our gods”
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.'
TWO: v.4-7: God's Response of Blessing
If you repent [implied] God will love and heal them
will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
If they do this, the Lord will bless them and they will grow and
will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
young shoots will grow.
His splendour will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the corn,
they will blossom like the vine –
Israel's fame will be like the wine of
THREE: v.8,9: Final Appeal
If you do this, we'll forget the idols and you will flourish
what more have I to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.'
Can you see the wisdom in this – a hand of hope being held out
is wise? Let them realise these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.