O israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine 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 render the calves of our lips.
3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is 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 smell as Lebanon.
7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.
9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
God is ready to accept Israel’s true repentance and their return to Him. Therefore, the prophet Hosea says, “Return, O Israel, to Jehovah your God.” (14:1). God wants to hear them say, “Please take away our iniquity, and accept us back. Then we will offer You the fruit of our lips” (14:2 Septuagint; Isaiah 57:19). The fruit of the lips means acceptable confessions of sin to God, the opposite of uncircumcised lips (Exodus 6:12).
When Israel stops worshiping idols God will bless her and rejoice in the return of His prodigal people (14:4). Israel would then say, “I have nothing to do anymore with the idols that were made by our hands.” Then God will say, “I am responding to your confessions and you will grow like a green cypress tree. You will sing with joy, and bear much fruit which you found in Me” (14:8).
The prophet Hosea gives a concluding appeal to his readers and listeners: “Who is wise and understands that the ways of Jehovah are right? The righteous will walk in them, but the transgressors shall stumble and fall over them.”
May we trust God and not disappoint Him who is longing for the return of His transgressing children!