I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
I will heal their backslidings,.... This and what follows is the Lord's answer to the above prayer; and this clause particularly is an answer to that petition, "take away all iniquity", Hosea 14:2; sins are diseases, natural and hereditary, nauseous and loathsome, mortal, and incurable but by the grace of God, and blood of Christ; backslidings are relapses, which are dangerous things; Christ is the only Physician, who heals all the diseases of sin, and these relapses also; he will do it, he has promised it, and never turns away any that apply to him for it; and which he does by a fresh application of his blood, whereby he takes away sin, heals the conscience wounded with it, and restores peace and comfort; which is a great encouragement to take words, and return unto him; see Hosea 6:1;
I will love them freely; this is in answer to that petition, "receive us, graciously"; or "receive good", or rather "give good", Hosea 14:2; not that the love of God or Christ begins when sinners repent and turn to him, or he applies his pardoning grace, since his love is from everlasting; but that in so doing he manifests his love, and will continue in it, nor shall anything separate from it: and this love, as it is freely set upon the objects of it, without any merits of theirs, or any motives in them, but flows from the free sovereign will and pleasure of God in Christ; so it is as freely manifested, and continues upon the same bottom, and is displayed in a most liberal and profuse donation of blessings of grace to them: this love is free in its original, and is liberal and bountiful in the effects of it; and makes the objects of it a free, willing, and bountiful people too:
for mine anger is turned away from him: from Israel, which, under former dispensations of Providence, seemed to be towards him, at least when under his frowns, resentment, and displeasure, as is the case of that people at this day; but when they shall return to the Lord, and he shall manifest and apply his pardoning grace to them, his anger will appear no more, and they shall be in a very happy and comfortable condition, as Israel or the church declares, Isaiah 12:1; which refers to the same times as these words do; see Romans 11:26; and compare
Psalms 85:2; where a manifestation of pardoning grace is called the Lord's turning himself from the fierceness of his anger; and especially this suits with Gospel times, satisfaction being made for sin by the sacrifice of Christ.