October 12, 2021
"Come let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days..."
“Come let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, and He will heal us; He has wounded us, and He will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day He will raise us up so we can live in His presence. Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like rain, like the spring showers that water the land.” Hosea 6:1-3
As we learned in chapter five, God had determined to rebuke Israel for their sin of spiritual promiscuity. That is to say, He punished their idolatry. Not only did God judge their sin, but He established their only way of escape would be through their repentance as they earnestly turned back to Him. No other form of rescue exists when God rebukes.
“Yes, I will tear them to pieces and depart. I will carry them off and no one can rescue them” Hosea 5:14b
In chapter six, Hosea pleads with Israel to accept that their only means of salvation is through their humble repentance. If God promised to judge our sin and He specified that His judgment would take a certain form, and if it happened as He said it would, why would we refuse to accept His prescribed resolution to our dilemma? Only our pride would keep us from repenting. Yet, I see such pride in my life all too often.
Have you ever considered how Yeshua’s ministry is so foreign to our human nature? He humbled Himself before the Lord and said, “Not Mine, but Thy will be done.” Scripture tells us that Jesus never sinned, but to pay our sin penalty, He took the sin of the world upon Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:21) In doing this, Jesus also showed us His love for us and the severity of God’s hatred of (and His impending judgment of) our sin. When we consider Jesus’ suffering on our behalf, we are reminded that, apart from His atonement, the same level of suffering on the Roman cross would be awaiting us on the Day of Judgment.
“But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring. He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10
Jesus’ willingness to atone for the sin of the world pleased God. Lest we get hung up on that word “pleased,” it is essential to clarify that Jesus’ suffering did not make God happy. The idea conveyed in Scripture is more transactional. When a convenience store sells a pack of gum for $1, and you pay the clerk $1, it pleases the clerk because you have satisfied the price requirement, and you owe nothing more than what was required. In the same manner, Jesus satisfied God’s righteous requirements for our sin debt.
In forecasting God’s forgiveness of repentant Israel, Hosea is also alluding to the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. In this, God is communicating, even to you & me, that we humble ourselves, turn from our sin, and accept Messiah’s sin self-offering; that we receive His atonement offered to us, by His Grace, through our Faith in Him.