The blessings and benefits of confession and repentance – Part 2
This is the second part of our two-part series on the blessings and benefits of repentance and confession. In this article we turn again to the book of Hosea; this time chapter 14. The prophetic voice is lifted in the direction of the nation of Israel. By application god is speaking to anyone who does not know Jesus Christ as Saviour of Lord, including leaders, governments and nations of the world that are living contrary to the word of God.
What we see when we read Hosea 14 is the prophet calling the nation to return to God. He asserts that it was because of their rebellion they had been brought down. In returning to God they were to bring their confession; being very prescriptive about the nature and pattern of that confession.
To confess is to agree with God’s verdict on a matter. It is to say, ‘God you are right and I am wrong’. The prophet says to the people and to us today, that the following words are to be said to God, ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.’ He went on, ‘Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses, and we will no longer proclaim, ‘Our gods!’, to the work of our hands. For the fatherless receives compassion in you’. In other words, we are to ask God to forgive us and receive us graciously, for we cannot earn the forgiveness of God.
Secondly, we are told that the things we put our confidence in are incapable of bringing us out of our woeful condition; whether it is our resources or the relationships that we have. For Israel, it was Assyria and their weapons of war. For us it may be our wealth, our status, connections, any human or material resource that we might put our confidence in.
At the heart of repentance is the shifting of our trust from these things to God, and God alone. Once we do so sincerely, a number of blessings flow. God heals our faithlessness and backsliding. He will turn away His anger and cause our lives to blossom again; to be beautiful, fragrant and flourishing. In other words, our lives will be productive and supernaturally attractive. People will see that there is a difference. These are the blessings that flow when we are truly repentant and return to God in humility, confessing that God is right and we are wrong.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©
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