A Short Study of Hosea 14:4
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” (Hosea 14:4)
Backsliding “in heart” is a serious evil. But open departure from God and indulgence in sin is far worse, as it brings a reproach upon the name of Christ, and serves to harden the ungodly in their evil ways.
The backslider not only dishonours the truth and grieves the Holy Spirit, he also fearfully wounds his own soul. But the Great Physician can even heal the wounds of the backslider. Our God is gracious and full of compassion. He calls to the wanderer, and says: “Return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” (Hosea 14:1)
He helps his infirmity, as with shame and confusion of face he comes back. He puts, as it were, a prayer into his lips, for He says: “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously:” (Hosea 14:2)
Reader, have you wandered in some forbidden path, and brought dishonour on your LORD, and distress into your soul?
Be humbled, but do not despond. There is mercy for you. Jesus, who gave Peter, after his grievous fall, such a look of tender compassion that he went out and wept bitterly, waits to be gracious to you. Cast yourself at His feet, confess your sins, and you will prove His forgiving love and healing mercy.
“Return, O wanderer! return!
Your Saviour bids your spirit live;
Go to His bleeding feet, and learn
How freely Jesus can forgive!”