The neophytes of today’s religious society begins with a wonderful plea for repentance towards God and a man incited movement back into the goodness and mercy of a waiting god. They also make the setting for this text to be some futuristic time when God will once again beg the nation of Israel to please be good and accept Him as their God. But we have no so learned of the Messiah if we have been taught by His Spirit. “Return O Israel to Jehovah your God” is not an invitation to the natural descendants of Jacob to return to Mt. Sinai or to Jerusalem to reconstitute the nation of old but it is the voice of our King to he that has wisdom for he who is wise shall understand these things and the prudent shall know them (vs.9). This text speaks to the same young man as is called ‘prodigal’ in the gospels when the hand of the Lord has taken him from his father’s house with his inheritance, into the city where he wastes all and finally to the pig sty where he is living on the husks that the swine eat. It is here that the Word comes unto him, being a child and having all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and says, “Return” unto your father’s house. He had fallen (stumbled not lost his blessing) because of his depravity in Adam but Jehovah commands him to return and he is made obedient. He confesses his depravity as the publican did who did not even lift his eyes unto heave but smote his breast and said, ‘be merciful to me a sinner’. He acknowledges that he has tried the ascension of Asshur (step) he has been drawn away by the strength and loftiness of the horse to the battle and he has looked to the works of his hands as his gods but like Saul on the Damascene road, when the Word came unto him, he counted all things which were gain unto him as lost because “in thee the fatherless find mercy”. These fatherless are not those whom Jesus spoke to for they said, we be not bastards, we have Abraham as our father, But Jesus answered them and said, “ye are of your father the devil”. He is the prince of the power of the air and the evil beast of the field. He was cast out of the heavens and caused to roam to and fro upon the face of the earth. He is the father of all lies and a murderer from the beginning but this one in whom Wisdom dwells is not of this world (John 17). He stands as a stranger in a foreign land and is not of the household of this earth, therefore he is fatherless. Yet in his heavenly father is mercy and peace. Not the peace of this world but a peace that passes all the collective conscience and wisdom of this world.
When the son ‘came to himself’ he said I shall return unto my father’s house and say, “I have sinned against heaven and before you” (Luke 15:18) and the promise of Jehovah is “I will heal their depravity and I will love them freely for my anger is turned away from Him”. This is not a conditional response from the father for then it is not mercy but it is the response of one who has had the heart of stony removed. “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your depravity and for your abominations” (Ez. 36:31) but the forgiveness is not for what they do but because of what He did, “for mine anger is turned away from Him”. Herein is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, here is Jesus who shall save His people from their sin and here is the Shepherd of Israel who came to seek and to save that which was lost. The love of the Father is the dew (covering) over the chosen people for His banner over me is love (Song 2:4) and His Anointed One did burst forth in praise when He roared out of Zion in the resurrection from the dead in which the Father proclaimed Him to be the Son in power and might and the strike laid upon this root was in the pureness of righteousness (Lebanon). His branches came forth from the vine (John 15) and covered the earth of every kindred tribe and tongue (Rev. 7) and His beauty was in brightness (olive tree) and glory and all the world saw the salvation of Jehovah. His fragrance is righteous and His garments are perfumed with myrrh, aloes and cassias for He is the High Priest that has stood before the altar in that sanctuary not made with hands, to present the sacrifice of His own blood which was acceptable unto the righteous demands of God’s Holy law. Because His children, His bride, His church, His people have always been one with Him, they smell of the wine (blood) of righteousness. They became alive like the wheat which He planted of good seed in the field He purchased with His blood and which He afore prepared unto glory. They grow as the vine grows for He is the vine and they are the branches and they have the fragrance of the blood of the fruit of the vine, that righteous blood of the Lamb.
Then will the fruitful (Ephraim) say, “what have I to do any more with idols? I have seen Him, I have heard Him I am a green fir tree (planted by the rivers of living waters) and my fruit comes from Him.
Who is wise and he shall understand these things and prudent and he shall know them? The ways of Jehovah are right and the just shall walk in them but the transgressors shall fall in them.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes