In Hosea 5:1-7, we have the Lord’s rebuke against the nation of Israel. Although there were the Lord’s people, they had disobeyed God, revolted against Him, they were defiled yet they were proud. They deserved judgment, and the Lord announced judgment upon them. Hosea 5:1 says, “Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you…”

In verses 8-15, we have the details of the judgment of the Lord against His people. We read in Hosea 5:15, “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”

Now let’s read Hosea 6:1-3, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” These verses were given in response to the words of the Lord in Hosea 5:15. In Hosea’s words to the people, he calls for a return to the Lord. He quotes the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:39 where we read, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” While the Lord is indeed the One who had torn and smitten Israel, He was also the One who could heal, revive, and raise them back up. In his words, Hosea is acknowledging God’s righteousness in his harsh treatment of the nation. I’m reminded of the words of Jeremiah as he considered the ruins of Jerusalem. He vindicated the Lord’s actions in allowing this city to be wasted. He said in Nehemiah 1:7, “We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” After this confession, work to restore Jerusalem began and the walls were rebuilt under the guidance of Nehemiah.

How often in our Christian lives does the Lord have to discipline us to draw us to Himself when we go astray? We read in Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” The Lord chastens us because He loves us. He often must ‘tear’ or ‘smite’ us to ‘get our attention’ and draw us back into a relationship with Himself. Dear friend, may we realize that the first step towards a renewed relationship with the Lord begins with a complete confession of our sins to Him.

Have you wandered from the Lord? Have you disobeyed or revolted against your loving savior? How great is the grace of the Lord to restore us to Himself. If you are away from the Lord, may your words be as those of Hosea: “Come, and let us return unto the LORD.” (161.1)