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hos 14.8

Continuing now in Hosea 14:8 we find Israel being encouraged to Renounce Their Sin. Here is the renunciation. “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’ I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.”

Israel here is pictured renouncing idols, saying that there is nothing more he will have to do with them. Israel, if restored, if they have repented and confessed, it is because they have heard and obeyed the Word of God through the prophets. Sounds like James, doesn’t it? Yes, and that is our next cross reference, James 1:21-27. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Do more than hear the Word of God. Listen. And do. And he gives us the proof in what we do. What we do should flow from what we are in Christ.

We receive the Word, believe the Word, obey the Word, and we test ourselves, we examine ourselves, we check up on things to see if we are living what we confess, if we are walking worthy of our confession of faith. And we find true and sincere religion in this, God through us controlling our tongue and serving the least of these, those who are least desirable and have the least ability to give back to us when we give to them! This is holiness. This is what it is to bear fruit to the glory of God.

Hosea says that as they repent God replies, “I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.” God, unlike the “idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk” (Rev. 9:20), hears and observes Israel. He hears prayers, and pleas. He hears confession. And He observes them, that is, He looks on with pity and compassion.

He goes on, “I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.” A green cypress is an evergreen juniper tree – we call them Christmas trees! God says He is a luxurious, thick, healthy fir tree. John Gill notes in his commentary on this passage that juniper oil has been used for ages to repel snakes! The fragrance of Christ here is such that it repels the serpent. And He says, “Your fruit is found in Me.” This is a clear statement that matches Jesus in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

Gill adds of this, “From Christ are all the spiritual blessings of grace, peace, pardon, righteousness, adoption, a right and meetness for eternal life, and that itself; all the fruits and graces of the Spirit, as faith, hope, love and all good works, which spring from union with him, are done in his strength, and influenced by his grace and example.” He produces the fruit in and through us. He is the Source and we bear the fruit then in our daily lives.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright
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