Bible Reading: Hosea 14: 1–6
1. O Israel, return unto the LORD your God; for you have fallen because of your iniquity.
2. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we offer the sacrifices of our lips.
3. Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, you are our gods: for in you the fatherless finds mercy.
4. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for my anger has turned away from him.
5. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
6. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his fragrance as Lebanon.
Word for Today: Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously – v. 2.
One of the most difficult, profound and yet apparently pointless words to say is, “I am sorry.” All that the thief on the cross simply said was: “Remember me when you get into your kingdom and our Lord replied, “Today You will be with Me in paradise”. For someone who had been a robber and may have committed murder in the process, it is tempting to ask if that is not too cheap.
Also, Mary Magdalene knew something of what it meant to be in the stranglehold of guilt, shame, self-abuse, anger and yet longing for love and release that some of us have had. In Luke 10:38–42 her intense listening to our Lord was compared with the busyness of her sister Martha. But the most dramatic was when she poured expensive perfume on our Lord at the party held in Simon the Leper’s house just before His crucifixion and our Lord commended her for her appreciation of the costliness of her deliverance (Mark 14:1–9).
Lastly, when she went to anoint the body of our Lord on the morning of the resurrection she had the privilege to be the first to meet the risen Christ (John 20:11–19). So she experienced what a hymn-writer described as “Grace that is greater than all our sins.”
Prayer: If Thou Lord will mark iniquity who will stand, but there is mercy with You (Psalm 130:3).