As a gardener, there have been many times when I’ve given a plant water, the right location, good soil and fertiliser, and the ungrateful thing has nevertheless died. Bah! Similarly, God gave the people of Israel all they needed, yet they continually turned to the worship of idols and false gods. In Hosea 13, the prophet warns them of their impending destruction. He uses images of a savage wilderness with little hope of survival.
For this faithless people, a faithful God continued to offer second chances. Hosea 14 contrasts that desolate future with the promise of a truly flourishing life, if they will only repent. If they put their faith in God once again, their lives would resemble a beautiful lily; a cedar whose wood is prized for both building and decorative work; an olive tree which provides the oil for cooking, filling lamps and many other daily needs; and more. In every way, they would be like a flourishing garden.
Are there areas of sin in your life from which you need to repent in order for you to truly flourish in your walk with God? How have you seen God at work in your life to enable you to experience the “abundant life” that he promises?
Forgive me Lord, for those times when I trust in my own strength rather than leaning on yours. Help me to walk more closely with you each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.