"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 the rain, like the spring showers that water the land." (Hosea 6:1-3 HCSB)
The days that we are living in seem unprecedented. The division in our nation, and in the nations of the world, is striking. The books of Hosea and Habakkuk contain unmistakable parallels to the world today. Some passages read as if they were ripped from the headlines. I believe these books have wisdom for us personally and corporately.
Let Us Return
Let us return to our first love, the love and attraction we had when we first met Him – like the bride for her bridegroom on their wedding day – with total affection, eyes only for Him...unfolded in the experience of His love, not just the knowledge of it (Ephesians 3:17-20).
The Father is radically committed to giving His Son a Bride worthy of the King.
"Jesus didn't die on the Cross to gain a Bride who yawns in His face on Sunday morning. Jesus died to gain for Himself a Bride who has fire in her eyes for Him like He has fire in His eyes for her." (Minute Meditations, Bob Sorge)
We must return to the foundation of our salvation...the ancient paths, the foundations of Jesus' teachings; the Sermon on the Mount, prayer, right relationships within the body...proper attitudes and mindsets toward Him, toward ourselves, toward our world.
He has torn, and He will heal. He has wounded, and He will bind up our wounds... Certainly, we have experienced a tearing and wounding in our current world circumstances. COVID, riots, political and racial division, cultural conflict, vitriolic opinions and arguments pour over the airwaves and on social medial in unprecedented proportions. No one is untouched by it, personally or corporately, whether in churches, businesses, schools, cities, communities, or nations.
I believe we have brought much of it on ourselves by stepping out from under His grace and covering in our culture. We find in the Word that there were times when the people cried to God and He gave them what they wanted, even when it wasn't His will. The Israelites wanted a king and God gave them Saul (1 Samuel 8:19-22). The end result was a divided kingdom. God's ultimate desire is always redemption, but it may come in a way we would not choose.
The reality is, we are engaged in a fierce spiritual war. We are in a battle between darkness and light, evil and good, and the line is getting clearer and clearer. Darkness covers the earth and deep darkness the people (Isaiah 60:2). But we have His promise that His glory will be seen upon us! (Photo via Piqsels)
In Hosea's day, the nation of Israel had just come through a period of peace, prosperity, and plenty. The shift and decline came when they began worshiping idols and looking to other nations, like Assyria, for the security, protection, and provision that God would have provided. In turning away from God, they set the stage for the nation's collapse.
As you read through Hosea, the parallels to our world are unmistakable. We don't bow down before idols of gold or wood, but we do bow before idols of convenience, political correctness, power, money, and control. A depressing situation to be sure, as was Israel's condition in the mid-700s BC.
His Promise – Our Hope
He will heal us, bind us, restore us, and raise us up on the third day so that we can live in His presence. Even in the midst of the chaos of our world, we can trust God to heal and restore us...so that we may live in His presence. I am convinced we can go through anything if we have the conscious awareness of His presence. "You open your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing." (Psalm 145:16)
"Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us [strive] to know [the Lord]..." (Hosea 6:3 NLT)
This is the part I feel the most emphasis on – to know Him, to see things from His perspective, to allow Him to shift our mindsets and perceptions so that we can know how to live and respond to the circumstances around us. "...Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10). So great is the need to silence the cacophony of voices vying for our attention and get quiet enough to hear His still small voice. Father, help us to do that!
And finally, this is the cry of my heart for my own life and for the nations:
"...His going forth is established as the morning. He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth." (Hosea 6:3 NKJV)
He will respond to us! He has orchestrated a movement of prayer in our nation that is extraordinary. Churches and ministries across the land have come together to pray and intercede for the United States. It is a concert of prayer being orchestrated by the Master, and He will respond. When Jesus came, they were expecting a Messiah who was a strong military hero that would deliver them from oppressive Roman rule. Instead, He came as a baby. Let us be open to His response, in whatever way He sends it.
Father, come to us and pour out Your Spirit upon us. We need the rain of Your presence to flood our world, to heal the brokenness and division and raise up Your Church as a voice in our time. Raise us up to reflect You. Raise us up to be the light You intended us to be.
Three Instructions for Us:
1. Hope in God's Promise
Do not let the enemy or the world drag you into a place of darkness or despair. Hope in God's promise! (Photo via Flickr)
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:1-5)
2. Pursue and Seek the Knowledge of God
Paul resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Jeremiah said, "Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight,' declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
3. Pray and Trust
We have confidence that when we pray, when we intercede for our own needs or the needs of the world, He hears us and will come to us as the rain.
"And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for." (1 John 5:14-15 NLT)
"You will answer me, God; I know You always will, like You always do as You listen with love to my every prayer." (Psalm 17:6 TPT)
I believe the book of Habakkuk is relevant for us and contains many parallels, even as Hosea does. In these trying times, the last few verses seem an appropriate declaration for us to make:
"Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty [even though things may not have turned out the way you expected or wanted; even though your circumstances seem more that you can bear; even though the future is uncertain]...
"Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights." (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT, emphasis mine)
No matter the challenges we face in the days ahead, our stance is to rejoice in the Lord, for He is our strength!
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Diane M. Fink
Diane Fink, believing that identity is a core issue, inspires others to embrace and walk in their God-given destiny and calling. She shares her own journey in her book "True Identity." Her heart for the Middle East led her to author a booklet, "Asmara Transformed," a story of friendship geared toward Muslim women. She has also authored several studies and numerous articles and teaching materials, many on relationship and God's heart for His people. As an ordained minister, Diane has spoken across the United States and in more than 20 nations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She and her husband live in Everett, Washington, and have four grown daughters and several grandchildren.
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