Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday's Featured: Passage from Hosea

What do the names Hosea, Jesus and Joshua all have in common?

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
The answer to this question is something I learned this morning.  I was reading about the contextual background of the book of Hosea, and I found out that the above names all share the same Hebrew root word: hoshea, meaning "salvation".  The name Joshua and Jesus contain an added root, altering their meaning to "Yahweh is salvation".  I just love this!

Have you read the book of Hosea?  I once posted about Francine Rivers' novel Redeeming Love that is based on this Old Testament book.  It is the story of God redeeming Israel from its life of idolatry, despite how unfaithful Israel was time and time again.

Today's featured is a passage from the very last chapter of Hosea.  It struck me to the core last night.  Perhaps it will for you.  I hope and pray it gives you something beautiful to think on today:

The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
    my love will know no bounds,
    for my anger will be gone forever.
I will be to Israel
    like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
    it will send roots deep into the soil
    like the cedars in Lebanon.
Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
    as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
My people will again live under my shade.
    They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
    They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.
“O Israel, stay away from idols!
    I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
    all your fruit comes from me.”
Let those who are wise understand these things.
    Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
    and righteous people live by walking in them.
    But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Oh, to turn away from our idols and gaze upon the Lord in all His beauty!  Do you want this as much as I do?  Let us make it our heart-cry today.  "All your fruit comes from me." 

Do you have a favorite passage?  What resonates with you?

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