Health And Healing
‘Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. ‘And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. ‘Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’ “Thus says the LORD: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place-of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”-in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, ‘the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His mercy endures forever”-and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. ‘In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the LORD. Jeremiah 33:6-13
Where there was dearth and desolation in the land, health, healing, abundance of peace and truth, joy, gladness, goodness, and prosperity were words that God Himself had used and had promised to give to His people who were captives in a strange land! And of course, God keeps His promises all of them. And these are words He has and promised for His people even in this day and age that we live in no matter what is going around them. And God has the power to make it so for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever to those who will bring the sacrifice of praise to Him! The bible tells us great is our Lord, and mighty in power:
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. Psalm 147:1-6
However the other side of the coin that the dearth and desolation of God’s people Israel was brought upon by themselves! God Himself stated in Jeremiah 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water, 3:1 But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,” says the LORD and 4:22 “For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge.”
God’s people who once were loyal to the Lord and a holy people turned their back on Him. They had perverted their way; they had forgotten the LORD their God. They had sinned against the LORD their God, and had not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God. They didn’t put away their abominations out of God’s sight and return to Him! They became harlots and adulterers! As a result destruction upon destruction was cried, the whole land was plundered and those who were not destroyed went into Babylonian captivity for seventy years. God’s word is unchanging:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10
…They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 2 Peter 2:14
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4
Even today most of God’s people don’t understand that “whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” and God calls them adulterers and adulteresses? Because they live and do exactly as the world does, and they are not different! They divorce, lie, steal, cheat, do all kinds of evil and wicked things. They run after money and have a heart trained in covetous practices. They are accursed children, who have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. And God word to idolaters and adulterers has not changed:
“Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the LORD. Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:12
The book of Hosea is a powerful image of how God loves His bride even though she has become an adulteress. God calls Hosea, a prophet, to take a wife who is and will be an adulteress. A cycle ensues: faithfulness, adultery, repentance and redemption, faithfulness, adultery, etc. But God isn’t just telling the story of one husband and wife. He’s using their story to point his people to the fact that we do the exact same thing to Him. God has given us salvation, hope, and freedom. And yet we often turn away from him and turn to other gods. Money, career, vanity, success, people’s perceptions and acceptance of us. God reminds us that we have become idolaters and adulterers.
God had told Hosea to marry a bad woman, Gomer, she was a prostitute (Hosea 1:2). I kind of think Hosea had already had his eyes on this Jezebel, but Hosea knew Gomer was not the proper kind of woman to marry. God told Hosea to go ahead and marry Gomer. Oh how happy Hosea must have been on their wedding day. He said “Hot dog! I’ve got me a beautiful wife.” She was probably beautiful on the outward appearance like Britney Spears or Christian Aguilera. I’m sure she was a hot-dancer and probably wore a few tattoos. Her captivating eyes probably cut right through Hosea with striking beauty. I’m sure she was gorgeous. Little did Hosea realize that his new love would break his heart. Gomer cheated on Hosea left and right, she was a two-time loser.
Poor Hosea, his heart was broken. Gomer slept with one man after another and eventually didn’t bother to come home anymore. To make a long story short…at the end of Hosea we find Gomer being sold as a slave. Isn’t that where sin always takes people? Sin will enslave you (John 8:34). Hosea hadn’t seen Gomer for years and had done his best to raise the kids on his own. Gomer had abandoned her family in pursuit of pleasure and wickedness…but only for a season. Hosea had every right to divorce Gomer and never speak to her again.
Time after time, Hosea pleads with his wife to just come home, but she will not return. Hosea tells her he loves her and wants to forget the past. Gomer laughs at Hosea and goes her own way again. She is having a good time and could care less about Hosea or her children. There are MANY women in the world today just like Gomer, women like Jennifer Lopez, who one day just walked out the door on her husband…never to return. Hosea was a tenderhearted man married to a coldhearted woman.
Hosea just so happened to be walking by the market one day where the slaves are sold. As Hosea is walking by, he looks up and notices an old battered woman with a familiar face. It is his wife, Gomer. Hosea cries when he sees Gomer and cannot believe how she has changed. Her beauty is faded and her shapely body withered. She is so ashamed of what she has done…wasted years living in sin…why would Hosea want her back when no one else does? Hosea’s heart breaks and he buys Gomer back. Hosea pays cash to buy his wayward wife back from off the slave market.
What a great picture of God’s unfeigned love, not the type of synthetic love that the world offers. Hosea NEVER gave up on his wife and God has not given up on His people.
EXTRACT FROM Our Wonderful Redeemer