Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he raise us up, that we may live before him. Hosea 6:1-2
God always finds a way of bringing back his children to His fold. The Israelites were drawn to idol worshiping and in these verses God uses Hosea to plead with them to return to their God. Notice it says “let us return to the LORD.” It is God we must return to and not any other. God is the object of our repentance. The word Return could mean repentance. When you repent you turn towards God. You must return to the LORD. This is good and safe. You are not returning to slavery or to a hostile person but to the one who truly loves you and to the one who created you. You are returning to the one who provides, sustains and protects, to the one who is merciful and faithful, to the LORD Almighty. You surely cannot resist this if you have tested the goodness of God. This scenario is a picture of those who once walked with the LORD with true passionate service but because of idolatry their zeal has shrunk. Idol worship had gotten hold of them. Today people have different kinds of idols in their lives. Some people have made their jobs their idols. “I must work and work and work until I work no more.” Even when it’s time to rest they are still working. There is no time for God in their schedule. The job has become an idol. When I say idolatry I mean anything that comes before God. Others have replaced God with their material wealth; houses, cars, video games, plasma T V, Laptops. Still others have made the media (Internet, TV and radio) their idols. You find a lot of talk about these things. All of their mind and heart has been consumed into these things. Conversations are no longer about how good God is and what God has done in their lives. You hear statements like, “I have just bought a Plasma. Work was great. Today at work we did this and that and tomorrow there is this and that and next week the MD said we will do this and that.” There are no conversations about the goodness of God. There are no longer words like God has been so good to me and I was blessed when I was reading about this passage in the Bible. This kind of conversation is scarce among many Christians. God has been given second position. Even when there is time left on their schedule God is the last to be remembered. Because of this (idolatry), we are told God had struck the Israelites down. He allowed disaster to come into the midst of the Israelites. Like Hosea said, He has “torn and struck down.” This could mean that he (God) causes you to be broken about your sin and secondly he causes you to be tormented about your sin. By tormenting I mean that you know there is sin in your life and God is not giving you peace. It keeps coming back into your mind and it is eating you up. This is exactly what David says in Psalm 51:3,8. He says his sin is ever before him and in verse 8 that his bones have been broken. There is no way he could hide from his sin. Whatever he tried to do to hide it was still in his mind. He tried everything to cover up the sin but it didn’t work. It was ever present and in this way he was torn and struck down. It is the same thing that happened to Jonah. He couldn’t run away from the presence of the LORD. He actually ended up finding himself in the belly of a fish. What is it that has taken the place of God in your life? Is it movies? Is it your car? God is saying, “Return to me, return!” I may not know what is going on in your life but whatever situation it is, could it be that God wants you to return to him?
Look further on at the reason why he struck you down or is causing torment. He is doing it so that he can make you a better servant of Christ. He has torn us so that he may heal us. It’s like a man with a broken leg and the doctor is trying to put the bone in its proper position. The excruciating pain that follows can even cause you to faint but the aim of the doctor is that you get healed so that you can be able to walk and run again. God wants to make you walk again. God is tearing you so that he can heal. And at times God takes away certain things from us and this also may be painful. But the end result is that you may be a vessel of honor. Are you torn? Is there pain in your life right now? Have you lost something dear to you? Could it be that God wants you to return to him? Christian, return to LORD, return!! Notice the Scripture says that he will heal. But first, you must acknowledge your idolatrous state and return.