The first step toward healing is recognizing that you are sick. Aspiring medical students are often counseled to minor in psychology. The reason for this is that treating someone medically involves more than simply diagnosing diseases and prescribing treatments. The patient also must accept that they are sick and that the treatment offered will help them.
The prophet Hosea ministered to Israel during a time when the nation was prosperous and thriving economically. But while their pocket- books might have been healthy, their hearts were not. They worshiped idols and oppressed the poor. God raised up Hosea to warn them of the danger they faced if they continued this path. In Hosea 14, we read the prophet’s final plea to the nation: “Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!” (v. 1).
Israel’s sin was like a sickness eating away at the nation from the inside. First, they needed to be honest about their condition. Instead of trusting in God and worshiping Him alone, they had often trusted in alliances with Assyria and worshiped idols (v. 3). They had ignored God’s command to care for the orphan and the widow (v. 3). There could be no forgiveness and no healing without accepting their guilt and turning to their God.
God assured Israel that if they would repent, He “will heal their waywardness and love them freely” (v. 4). God is the great physician. He is able to heal physical sickness. And He alone could heal the spiritual sickness that Israel had brought upon itself. God could not only restore Israel, but He could also cause the nation to thrive (vv. 5–8).
>>Perhaps you have struggled with a recurring sin in your past or continue to do so in the present. Turn to the Great Physician! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we can experience true healing.
Dear God, You are righteous and holy. We confess our recurring sins to You, Who have defeated sin. Forgive us and purify us; help us overcome ingrained, sinful habits. In moments of temptation grant us strength.