“I Will Heal Their Backsliding”

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” (Hosea 14:4)

Have you never backslidden from God? The LORD in mercy may have kept you from backsliding openly, or bringing a reproach upon His cause. But backslidings are not limited to open sins. Are there no heart idolatries? No eye adulteries? No departing from the living God? No hewing out cisterns, broken cisterns, which hold no water? No cleaving to the world? No delighting in the things of time and sense? No hugging in your bosom that huge, that deformed, that ugly idol, more ugly than the hand of Hindu ever framed—yourself, that monster self—which you so love, admire, and almost adore? Self, that ugly monster, will be perpetually drawing away your eyes and affections from the living God—to centre in that worthless and abominable idol. Now, when we feel, deeply and daily feel, our inward idolatries, backslidings, adulteries, and departings from the living God—has not the LORD given a gracious promise that these backslidings shall be healed? He says, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.”

J.C. Philpot

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