Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- VERSES 3, 4. 145 Israel's petition in time of trouble, and the promise and covenant which thereupon they bind themselves in. In these and the following words unto the end of the eighth verse, we have the gracious answer of God to both, promising both in his free love to grant their petition, and by his free grace to enable them unto the performance of the covenant which they had made. The petition consisted of two parts. 1. That God would take away all iniquity. 2. That he would do them good, or receive them graciously. To both these God giveth them a full and a gracious answer. 1. That he will take away all iniquity by healing their backsliding. 2. That he would do them good and heap all manner of blessings upon them, which are expressed by the various metaphors of fruitfulness, opposite to the contrary expressions of judgment in former parts of the prophecy. I will heal their backsliding." This is one of the names by which God is pleased to make himself known unto his people, " I am the Lord that healeth thee," Exod. xv. 26. And, " Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings," Jer. iii. 22. Now God healeth sin four manner of ways : 1. By a gracious pardon, burying, covering, not imputing them unto us. So it seems to be expounded, Psa. ciii. 3. and that which is called healing in one place, is called forgiveness in another, if we compare Matt. xiii. 15. with Mark iv. 12. 2. By a spiritual and effectual reformation, purg- ing the conscience from dead works, making it strong and able to serve God in new obedience ; for that which health is to the body, holiness is to the soul. Therefore the Sun of righteousness is said to arise with healing in his wings, Mal. iv. 2. whereby we are to understand the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit N