Hosea 6 has our prophet calling on God’s people to return to Him. “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us”. Hosea prays with the right heart in response to the chastening hand of God. Instead of arguing with God, or resenting His correction, Hosea leads Israel in humble prayer. This is a prayer that trusts the love of God, and sees His loving hand even in correction. God must deal with our sin and rebellion. He can’t just look the other way because of His character and nature. So rather than blaming Him for punishment and correction, we should run to Him in repentance.
“He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him”. Hosea prayed this full of confidence in God’s love and power to restore. In the prayer, there is a glimpse of the prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection on the third day. We get a picture of what happens on the cross where Jesus was torn and stricken for our sake, yet He was also gloriously raised up on the third day. God is in the restoration business. And he is victorious over evil. He wants that in our life just as it was for Jesus!
Here come the marching orders. “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord”. Hosea leads the people to repent but then to pursue God. We should know that when we pursue the knowledge of the Lord, He blesses it. It must be more than superficial, it must be a pursuit. But when we endeavor to know the Lord, especially through His Word, He reveals Himself to us. God wants us to know Him and His name to be known throughout the world. That only happens if we pursue Him with all our heart. God alone is worthy of our praise.
Hosea tells us what God wants in a relationship with us. “I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”. God would rather have right hearts, full of truth and mercy than sacrifice. The people missed the heart of God, focusing on the wrong and superficial things. Israel brought animals for sacrifice, but they never brought themselves as a living sacrifice. They missed what God really wants: a deep, close relationship with Him. If we want to connect with God completely, it has to be all of us being given to Him. He doesn’t want a part, or sometimes. He wants us to be in relationship with Him fully and always!