Hosea 14:2-10 Reflection:
In today’s first reading, God calls on Israel to come back to him and he goes on to say that her iniquity shall be the cause of her downfall.
The Old Testament is a succession of stories wherein Israel leaves God and then he woos her back. The promise is always the same, ‘come back to me and I will love you with all my heart,’ says God. He even declares that his anger he has turned from them and that he had already forgiven them, such is his love for his chosen people.
If you have ever been to Israel you will know that it is a very arid and desert type place. I remember visiting the desert and being left there by the bus for an hour with plenty of water and an umbrella to keep the sun away. It was still a frightening experience. Not being used to the heat I could hardly get a breath. We in Ireland live in a land full of greenery and water, but Israel is totally different.
When God is describing paradise to these people he speaks of places flowing with milk and honey, of well watered vines and evergreen cypress trees. These are the images of plenty for the people of Israel.
God is always calling us back from our sin, he is always wanting us to share in his land of plenty. But we get caught up so much in the material world that we forget that his land of plenty is not necessarily the same as ours: we want plenty of material goods, he gives grace and blessings.
And we should trust him to give us what we need!