Hosea 14:4 (ESV) …. “I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them..”
God restores the penitent to spiritual health and heals their backsliding (Jer. 14:7). When a person collapses with sickness, it’s usually the result of a process that’s been working in the body for weeks or months. First an infection gets into the system and begins to grow. The person experiences weariness and loss of appetite, then weakness, and then the collapse occurs. When sin gets into the inner person and isn’t dealt with, it acts like an insidious infection: it grows quietly; it brings loss of spiritual appetite; it creates weariness and weakness; then comes the collapse.
For example, when Peter denied his Lord three times, that sin didn’t suddenly appear; it was the result of gradual spiritual deterioration. The denial began with Peter’s pride, when he told the Lord he would never forsake Him and would even die for Him. The next stage was sleeping when he should have been praying, and then fighting when he should have put away his sword. Peter should have left the scene (“I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad” [Matt. 26:31; Zech. 13:7]); but instead, he followed to see what would happen and walked right into temptation.
When we confess our sins to the Lord, He forgives us and the “germs of sin” are cleansed away (1 John 1:9) but, as with physical sickness, often there’s a period of recuperation when we get back our strength and our appetite for spiritual food. “I will love them freely” describes that period, when we’re back in fellowship with the Lord and enjoying His presence. We see the smile of His face, for His anger is turned away.
In Christ & Friends Always,