Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant
6 “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 will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;
I have slain them by the words of my mouth,
and my judgment goes forth as the light.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
But like Adam they transgressed the covenant;
there they dealt faithlessly with me.
Gilead is a city of evildoers,
tracked with blood.
As robbers lie in wait for a man,
so the priests band together;
they murder on the way to Shechem;
they commit villainy.
In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
Ephraim’s whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.
When I restore the fortunes of my people,
Hosea 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
The definition of loyalty is a feeling of support or allegiance. This is exactly what God desires. His words reverberate here in the middle of all the sin of His people. His greatest longing is that we have an allegiance to Him and Him alone. Our repentance should never be about relief but truly about a growing desire to do and become exactly what God has ordained for us. He delights, think about that, delights in our loyalty. It is what brings Him such joy!
“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. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”Hosea 6:1-3
The purpose of God lifting His hand – removing His presence even – is for a greater healing to take place. Yes, He allows things to happen to us; Yes, when His hand is lifted there are obstacles and hardships that abound. We feel as though we’ve been torn to pieces; we feel as though wounds have slashed our heart and lives. Discipline is never easy. There’s always pain. Yet, the promise here is God has NOT forsaken His children. He stands longing to bring healing. But we must return to Him, we must accept His hand of discipline and learn from it. That is the only way we will experience wholeness.
There is also such a beauty in these verses. His raising up in the 3rd day is a direct reference to Jesus and the life He lived, the absolute healing He brings through His sacrifice. Dead in the tomb, all things seemed hopeless but it was the third day, He rose and brought an unprecedented revival and hope for all. Come, let us return to the Lord. Jesus, the risen Savior, has conquered all and is over all. The hardship will come to an end when we genuinely return to the Lord.
Consider Hosea 5’s thoughts concerning the burdens in our life: The people or even ourselves so caught up in things that have led us far away from Him. “Whatever it takes” still needs to be at the forefront of our mind. We need God to do ‘whatever it takes’ to drive these whom we carry back to Him. Release them. Let them go. Let God bring His discipline and yes even hardship so they will return and be healed.
Hosea 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
A pattern we see over the past two chapters is God allowing for us to hit a place where we are driven to repentance. Living a life of repentance is not easy, but it is required for our growth.
When I read these verses in Hosea 6, I am reminded of how prone I am to act in my own flesh. I remember how I cannot function the way God intended without his grace in my life. It is so common to go back to my old self and to resist repentance and growth. But as we lean into the pruning, God produces something more beautiful than we could imagine.
Sometimes these passages are difficult to read because they seem as if God is acting harshly toward His people. However, as our Lord and Savior, He has been more than fair in handling our sinful rebellion. Our lives are not a right, but a privilege that He has allowed.
Another theme that sticks out in this chapter is humanity’s attempt to follow God while being sidetracked from His desire for our life. The people of Hosea’s time did not connect their sacrificial system to God’s priority – His desire for love, mercy, and a loyal relationship.
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,Hosea 6:6
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
This idea was missed once again in the New Testament as Jesus quoted this passage at least twice during His ministry to the religious leaders of the time (Matthew 9:13 and Matthew 12:7). They believed they were following God but, in reality, had missed the intended purpose of their rituals.
We are lying to ourselves if we think we cannot fall into the same trap. When the heart of God is replaced by cold, ritualistic religion, we become complacent and put our trust in the tradition rather than in Christ. This is why we must open our hearts to the fresh reality of God by getting involved in a loving church family. There we can find accountability, authentic friendships, solid teaching, and new opportunities for growth. If we surround ourselves with “yes people” who will never challenge us, it is very easy to justify compromise and miss the heart of God.