The Restoration of God

The Restoration of God

Hosea 6

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord, His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (vs. 4).


            In chapter 4, we saw the devastating effects of abandoning God.  As we see our nation and our lives descend into the abyss of moral and spiritual darkness, we sometimes wonder if there is any hope.  In 5:6, Hosea warns that the time may come when people will seek the Lord, but they will not find him; He has withdrawn from them. Instead of pursuing God’s law, they have “gone deep in depravity.”  However, even as God pronounces judgment, he offers to extend his grace and restoration if they turn back to him.  Chapter 6 begins with an affirmation of God’s grace.  No matter how harsh the discipline of God is, he is willing to restore and revive the people if they return to the Lord.  When the term “return” is used to describe the activity of Israel, it refers to complete and genuine repentance.  It is not merely giving lip service to God; it is an affirmation of their repentance which involves turning away from their sin and reaffirming their obedience to God’s law. In words that serve to foreshadow the resurrection of Christ, God states that he will “raise us on the third day.”  

            So what is the proper response to this extending hand of grace?  It is found in verse 3.  Because of God’s grace, we are to make God and the knowledge of him the focus of our life.  The phrase “let us press on” speaks of a wholehearted pursuit.  The term often is used negatively to refer to a man or group pursuing another in an attack and for revenge.  In such cases, the pursuit brings fear and apprehension. But in this case, it is used positively to stress the idea of relentless pursuit. The promise of God to forgive sin and restore his grace should cause the sinner to seek to zealously pursue God and the knowledge of him.  It is to be unwavering in one focus upon God.  

The Bible speaks of the barrenness of sin.  But here we find the grace of God is like rain coming upon a parched soil.  The knowledge of God is life-giving and restorative.  It refreshes and invigorates even the most barren soul.  The promise and hope of Hosea are that when we seek God diligently, he comes bringing his refreshing presence.  

            The grace of God stands in stark contrast to the fickleness of man.  In verse 4, God condemns Israel for their shallow loyalty, which is like the morning dew that quickly dissipates.  Israel thought that all which was required of them was to perform external actions.  Lip service to God was sufficient.  Yet, their faith was stagnant and shallow rather than vibrant and transformative.  Thus in verse 6, God confronts them.  He desires loyalty rather than sacrifice and the knowledge of him rather than burnt offerings.  The true measure of faith is not in the external acts but in the inward transformation and commitment to God.  The word loyalty refers to an unfailing love; it is a love that is unrelenting.

            This offer of grace should cause us to examine our own lives.  Do we give God lip service or a life of obedience?  Do we relentlessly pursue the knowledge of God and give him our complete allegiance?  When we do, no matter how much we have faced the trials and hardships of life, he will bring restoration, healing, and life.   


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