COME and let us RETURN TO THE LORD
September 16 Bible Reading: Hosea Chapters 4-6
"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)
In the above verses, prophet Hosea looks beyond both the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities down to the ultimate day when Israel as a nation will be truly converted (Jer 31:31–34) and God will set up His millennial kingdom over His people and reign for a thousand years. In response to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, a remnant will come to this recognition; but in that day the entire nation will come to this realization.
The initial verses (1–3) are Israel’s response to God’s call to repentance (5:15). At first it seems genuine and heartfelt, but upon closer examination, we see that no sin is specifically confessed. Their repentance is shallow and insincere, which is apparent from the rest of the chapter. True repentance only comes later on when the nation of Israel repudiates its idolatry and acknowledges their need for God’s grace.
When God’s people truly repent, God is eager to restore His relationship with them. God’s restored presence and blessings would be like the rain that waters and renews the earth. The latter rains of Israel came in the spring and caused the plants to grow. The former rains came in the autumn and softened the ground for plowing and sowing.
Let us understand that the call to return to the Lord is one of the central messages of Hosea (see 2:7; 3:5; 5:4, 15). True repentance and conversion will bring reconciliation that includes healing of our wounds. When we come back to God, He brings the dawning of a new day with the refreshing showers. The God who has chastens us will also heal and revive us. Why do we delay anymore to return to God in humble repentance?