Grace Protestant Reformed Church

I Will Love Them Freely

Date: AM
Text: Hosea 14:4-7
Psalters: 222, 378, 310, 281
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
  1. Its manifestation.
    1. God declares that He “will love them freely.”
      1. Though Israel has repeatedly provoked God to anger, He promises love.
      2. “Freely” is a voluntary, free-will activity, not compelled or necessary because it is earned.
      3. This implies that God does not find in us any cause for His love.
    2. This love means that “Mine anger is turned away from him.”
      1. The testimony of God’s love is sealed with the statement that His fury is turned away.
      2. Note that God does not suspend or temporarily withhold His anger, but He takes it away completely.
      3. This does not imply that God changes, for it describes our experience of God’s action.
    3. God begins by declaring that He “will heal their backsliding.”
      1. Our “backsliding” refers not just to our faults, but to our defections; it is a strong term.
      2. God is he Physician who gives cure and healing.
      3. The result is that we correctly identify our backsliding and repent over and over, striving more and more to be faithful.
  2. Now consider the fruits or benefits of this gracious reconciliation.
    1. God will be to Israel as “the dew” (night mist).
    2. When grace descends, there is growth of spiritual substance (exhibited in a variety of ways to exhibit God’s manifold grace.
      1. There is the dazzling whiteness of the lily, an emblem of beauty and purity (Hosea 14:5).
      2. Second, the roots are sent forth for a long lasting effect (Hosea 14:5).
      3. Thus, its branches spread forth in every direction (Hosea 14:6).
      4. Evergreen olive trees.
      5. The scent of the cedar’s of Lebanon (Hosea 14:7) manifest Israel’s happiness, prosperity and joy.
  3. The result (7).
    1. All who flee under its shadows are defended and protected from the heat of the sun.
    2. As from one kernel many ears are produced, so is the increase of God’s people when God shows His favor.