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In this Chapter the man of God closeth his prophecy, in the sweetest and tenderest expressions of the Lord's grace and mercy. Israel is shown his fall by nature; and the richest promises follow of grace.
We may divide this Chapter into three grand parts. The first, in which the Holy Ghost points out to Israel his fall, and shows what method he is to take in seeking to the Lord for a recovery. The second sets forth the Lord's gracious assurances of pardon, mercy, and peace. And the third represents the blessed effects which take place in the soul, when the Lord hath given grace and faith, and is pacified to Israel for all the evil that he hath done, in the rich salvation of the Lord. These three verses contain the first of those doctrines. The Chapter begins with a faithful account of Israel's fall, and as gracious a call to return. And the method to be adopted is shown in coming to the Lord, with an earnest petition for the Lord to take away all iniquity. Reader! mark this method of every sinner's return, for it is the Lord's own method. We cannot come to the Lord after our fall, until the Lord first come to us. We cannot say anything to the Lord, but what the Lord hath first said to us. If we love him, it is because he first loved us. And how very blessed it is to behold the workings of the Holy Ghost in the heart, when the poor penitent comes to the footstool of the mercy-seat, renouncing all self-righteousness, all the Ashures of created excellency, and laying low and humble at the foot of the cross, crying out, Lord save, or I perish!
Here we have the second division of the Chapter, in a Cluster of the richest promises. Reader! contemplate the Lord Jesus in all these precious things, (for He is the speaker,) and oh! for grace, that both you and I may see and know our own personal interest in them, for they are most blessed. Jesus will heal the backslidings of his people. His blood cleansed from all sin. And he will do it freely. His love is not the result of our prayers, but his own free grace. It comes from himself, and of himself. He doth love, and he will love. This is the only cause. And he will be as the dew unto Israel, that is, as another Prophet explains, which waiteth not for man, neither tarrieth for the sons of men. So free, unmerited, unexpected; so great and copious as the innumerable drops of the morning; and so blessed as the fruitful showers on the earth. And the sweet effects wrought on Israel's mind thereby, shall be like that of the lily, whose roots lie deep, and even in winter still sends forth her shootings; so the lives of God's people, which lie hid with Christ in God, shall be ever green, and which no wintry seasons can destroy. And as the cedar of Lebanon spreads forth her branches in majesty; so in Christ, his people stretch forth, on the right hand and on the left, with a smell as fragrant as the spices; and the sweet scented odour of Jesus name is in them like ointment poured forth. For dwelling under Christ's shadow, everything shall partake of his fragrancy. And they shall grow as the branches of the vine, which though unpromising, and apparently like a dry stick, produceth the richest and most luxuriant branches, like the grapes of Eshcol or like the corn, which the more it is trodden down, the more it revives and brings forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty fold, some an hundred fold. Precious Lord Jesus! who that considers thy loveliness, and the blessedness of thy people in thee, but must cry out with the Church, my beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. Song of Solomon 1:14 .
Here we have the third great branch of doctrine in this most delightful Chapter; namely, the sweet and sure effects of grace, when that grace is inwrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart. And such will be the blessed consequences on all truly regenerated and penitent sinners. Therefore God the Holy Ghost closeth this prophecy with a peculiar note of the most important nature, that everyone who is made wise unto salvation, may ponder over the whole, and duly consider the blessed doctrine contained therein: putting his Almighty emphasis upon it, that all God's ways are right ways, and which every justified sinner in Christ shall walk in. But while it proves the savor of life unto life to all such, to transgressors it becomes a stumbling stone, and rock of offence, so that they fall therein, and see not the work of the Lord, nor the operation of his hand.
BLESSED be God for the sweet and precious doctrines contained in this Chapter. May God the Holy Ghost write their full import on the heart both of Writer and Reader. I would pray for grace to see my own state described in the first part of it. Indeed every child of God may truly exclaim, I am the man that hath fallen by my iniquity. The Lord help me therefore to take with me words, even God's own words, and come to the throne of grace, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and find grace, mercy, and peace from Him, in whom the fatherless findeth mercy.
And oh! thou blessed Emmanuel! speak to my soul, yea, speak to every regenerated soul in those reviving words of thine, I will heal thy backsliding; I will love thee freely; I will be as the dew unto Israel
And do thou grant, oh! thou blessed Spirit of truth, in thy sweet office of glorifying the Lord Jesus, that through thy gracious influences I may be kept from anymore going after my former idols. Yea, give me to see that Jesus is the source of all my strength, hope, and consolations; that in Him is my fruit found, and all my fresh springs are in Him.
Farewell Hosea! adieu thou faithful servant of the Lord! Well hast thou ministered to the Church by thy writings in all ages, from thy days to the present hour; and shown in what man's ruin is found, and in whom alone is salvation. And while I bless the Great Head of his Church for thy ministry: my soul desires to go forth in thanks-givings and praises to the Lord God, in whom alone thy ministry, or all the ministry of men or angels can be profitable; in that Jesus doth bless, and will bless his holy word by his servants the prophets. Praises be to Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for those blessed writings of inspiration! May the Lord go on to commission them to his glory, who in times past spake to the Fathers by the Prophets. But still more would we give praises to God, who hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son. Oh! thou Lord God of the Prophets! everlasting blessings be thine, to whom all the Prophets give witness, that whosoever believeth in thee, shall have eternal life. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hosea 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20