“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:1-3 NIV)
The text does not tell us who is speaking in this passage. There are two possibilities. The first possibility is that it is the people of Israel who are speaking. The second is that it is Hosea who is speaking. I think the second option is more consistent with the context. The people of Israel have demonstrated no understanding of the seriousness of their situation nor have they acknowledged God in any way.
Hosea loves God and he loves his people. He has fulfilled his role as a prophet and clearly communicated to them their sin and God’s judgement. Before he goes on to expand on what the future holds for Israel he makes one last attempt to invite them to repent. In his invitation Hosea recognizes the reality of Israel’s situation. They are being punished by God and the punishment hurts. The people have a choice. They can either pursue the worship of idols with increased intensity or they can return to God. Hosea makes it clear that only returning to God will result in healing of their wounds.
Unfortunately, we know what choice they made and most of the rest of the book of Hosea will explore the devastating future that awaits them. Why do we find it so hard to acknowledge God and turn toward Him? We must believe that life now and, in the future, will be better if we are in charge. This is certainly true for those who do not acknowledge God, but is it also true for those of us who say we are following Jesus?
For my grandchildren:
When God invites you to do something, accept the invitation.