June 17, 2012: Hosea 6:1-10,14:1-9 (Rich Merkouris)

(Hosea 6:1-10, New International Version)
 1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
   but he will heal us;
he has injured us
   but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
   on the third day he will restore us,
   that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
   let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
   he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
   like the spring rains that water the earth.”

 4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim?
   What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
   like the early dew that disappears.
5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
   I killed you with the words of my mouth—
   then my judgments go forth like the sun.
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
   and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
7 As at Adam, they have broken the covenant;
   they were unfaithful to me there.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers,
   stained with footprints of blood.
9 As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,
   so do bands of priests;
they murder on the road to Shechem,
   carrying out their wicked schemes.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel:
   There Ephraim is given to prostitution,
   Israel is defiled.
(Hosea 14:1-9, New International Version)
 1 Return, Israel, to the LORD your God.
   Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take 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.
3 Assyria cannot save us;
   we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
   to what our own hands have made,
   for in you the fatherless find compassion.”

 4 “I will heal their waywardness
   and love them freely,
   for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
   he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
   he will send down his roots;
 6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
   his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
   they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
   Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, 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.”

 9 Who is wise? Let them realize 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.