This week's Haftarah reading is from Hosea 14:2-10. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he reveals not only the importance of Teshuvah (Repentance), but doing so in ADONAI'S terms, NOT our own.
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Hosea 14:2-10
As we look at Hosea 14:2-10 there is an appeal to the people by Hosea, speaking on behalf of Adonai and calling for their repentance, a return of Israel to their Yah. Prophet Hosea encourages the people not only to return but he tells them what to say. He tells them to “take words with them” and return to Adonai. In returning to Him, Israel must come on Adonai’s terms, not their own. How important is it for us today to understand what Abba is saying! In today’s culture of doing things our way, in expecting forgiveness without responsibility, in desiring everything to be our way without ever surrendering or thinking about the consequences of our actions, not only to us but also to those around us. So, YHVH tells them, “Take words with you”, to return to Him not with a silent feeling in your heart, but with proper words of repentance and trust in Adonai. What follows in the remaining verses of Hosea 14:5-10 is the response Adonai will presumably make to the people if they follow the course of action called for by the prophet. Again, it means there is a responsibility on our behalf, to receive what Yah is willing to give. Why do we always want something for free without obligation? What is wrong with being obligated out of love anyway?
When we come before Adonai, it is essential to “Take words with you”. We need to share and articulate our feelings and emotions with our Yah. The worship of Yah is intelligent, and Adonai made us able to communicate ideas and feelings with words. So then, why are we so silent at times? It isn’t enough to just sit before Adonai and feel love towards Him. But instead, “Take words with you”—tell Yah that you love Him, adore Him, let your heart speak with thanksgiving, praise and adoration. Tell Adonai that you repent and you are sorry and need Him more than anything!
What did Paul say on the matter? Romans 10:8-10 says, “But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Yah has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession made unto salvation.” When Yah walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening—He wanted to speak with them, to “Take words with them”, when He came. Adonai commands us to communicate with Him in words, not just ideas or feelings, but with our mouths giving Him praise.
The best words to “take with us” is His Word. When we speak His Word, speak the Scriptures, we find an effective voice before Adonai. His word will not return to Him void, Amen! However, when we come, let us come humbly, recognizing our sin and our total dependence on our Abba. Let us offer the sacrifice of our lips giving Him praise, worship, using petition and intercession, confession and renouncing our dependence on other things. There is only One alone that can make the difference in our life and His name is Yeshua HaMashiach. When we approach Him in this way, He promises to restore a repentant Israel. He will heal our backsliding and love us freely, Halleluyah! Adonai saw where Israel was in their backsliding and that certainly is good news for all of us. He doesn’t forgive us because we deserve it but because He loves us freely. Adonai is compassionate, caring and promises to not “might heal” or “try to heal” but He will heal! He will heal that is His nature, He is patient, longsuffering, and willing to find you where you’ve lost your way.
Are you backsliding? Sometimes it is not obvious to us. When you see a tree broken over in a windstorm, it is easy to think it was the wind. However, look closer and you will see that insects, rot and decay has made the tree weak and sick and that it wasn’t the wind at all that caused the collapse. Other trees experiencing the same storm withstood the wind but that one tree had a slow decline of strength, as insects, rot and decay nibbled away month after month, trial after trial.
Our Yah can restore us if we return to Him. Hosea 14:7-8 reveals the restoration; growth is restored, beauty is restored, strength and value is restored, delight and abundance is restored and the branches will spread. When Yah restores, we become a blessing to others, not just receiving but we now become the giver.
It is at that moment, we become transformed in spirit and renewed in mind, a new creature. Once you are renewed you are changed and begin to let go of the ways of the world, your old ways and free yourself from idols. Our focus is now changed as we focus on Adonai, His will and purpose and not on us or anything we have made an idol. We begin to produce fruit again, the fruit of the Ruach not of our own labors. We walk away from this world and what shallow things it has to offer.
We not only walk in transformation but in wisdom. We realize true wisdom is from above, found in the things of Adonai and the ways of Adonai are right and we begin to walk in them. Wisdom is seeing the necessity for understanding the prophet’s message. Wisdom is bound with acknowledging that the ways of Adonai are right, and therefore, we walk in them. Hosea has become “an object of study and a guide to life”.
Here is the full understanding of Yah’s unfailing love for His faithless people, the victory of His grace, the complete assurance of His healing revealing the loving heart of our Yah. I encourage you this Sabbath, as you go, “Take words with you”. Love on Him, praise Him, worship Him but heed His words and let Him forgive and restore you if you have wandered astray. Be transformed…Today is your day!
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Have a great Sabbath, a wonderful Yom Kippur! “Take words with you” and magnify His name!