Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:1-3)
He Will Heal Us
Hosea is a prophet of the love of God. He bore a heavy burden trying to turn Israel from their path of destruction. His language at times is hard and yet the kindness of the Lord shines forth in his message of God’s forgiveness. The children of Israel had gone the way of Baal and followed the gods of the nations around them. Their wickedness filled the land with sexual immorality, sorcery, licentiousness, murder, stealing; every sin imaginable. As a nation, it had become a melting pot for the putridity of man’s base nature to exalt the pleasure of the flesh. Children were sacrificed as burnt offerings, families murdered for political gain and the word of God lost in the hearts of God’s people. The Lord was bringing judgement upon the people and the prophets warned of impending doom. Hosea did his part. His marriage to Gomer was an illustration of how much God loved His people even when they were so evil and corrupt.
Hosea pleads with the people to return to the Lord because the mercy of God would grant forgiveness. The harm they suffered was the punishment of the Lord but He would also show them love when they repented. Striking them with pestilence, disease and plagues was an effort to turn their hearts. Coming back to the Lord the people would find a compassionate and forgiving God. They were destroyed for lack of knowledge but the pursuit of knowledge would save them. All the promises of God were true Hosea reminds them and they should remember the forgiveness of God was promised. Like the blessings of rain the wonderful grace of God will revive the nation again.
God’s character is unchanged. Our sin is grievous in His sight but He longs for us to return to Him with penitent hearts. His grace is so large to forgive a spirit that grieves over the penalty of sin. Returning to the Lord He will heal us and bind our wounds with the blood of His Son. When we pursue the knowledge of God He will forgive us. His will guides us back to His throne. There is nothing we have done that He will not forgive if we come to Him seeking His abundant mercy and grace. What a great God we serve to be filled with such love. Nothing we have done and nothing we will ever do can deserve the forgiveness of God. He grants it still. From the parched plains of our sin He bears us on eagles wings to the mountains of His abundant blessings to be nourished by the rain that showers upon us His kindness. What a great God we serve.
The divine love hovers over the life of man with the vivacious persistence of April calling earth to life. (Walter Farrell, The Looking Glass, 1951)