Imagine if my garden were to declare its independence from me. (A silly image, perhaps, but bear with me!) No more watering, no fertiliser, no pruning, no care when pests and diseases strike. Some plants would manage, but many would never survive, or if they did, they would never flourish as they do now.
In the time of the prophet Hosea, Israel effectively declared their independence from God. They turned to the worship of Baal, put their faith in untrustworthy foreign powers and went their own way. God’s warning was repeatedly to turn back to him – flourishing would come when they lived righteously, not just following God’s laws outwardly, but truly putting their faith in him for their protection and wellbeing. Only when God was at the centre could they truly “reap the fruit of (God’s) unfailing love.”
What changes might you need to make to put God at the centre of your life?
Holy God, help me to live in obedience to you. Sow righteousness into my life that I may reap the fruits of your unfailing love. Holy Spirit, work in me to help me to live in such a way that your love shines through me for all to see. In Jesus’ name, Amen.