Summary: Our Lord promises to restore and heal us...
HOSEA 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.
We are going to be looking at these passages in Hosea 6 today, so please leave your Bible open. In this passage, the prophet Hosea calls out to the people of Israel. They have wandered far away from the Lord and he issues a call for them to come back to God. It is a call for both personal and national revival. Israel had forsaken the way of the Lord and they had turned away from Him to worship the idols and false gods of the Canaanites. This invitation is a call for them to repent of their sins and to turn their hearts back to the one true God.
Verse two of this passage is a prophecy of a future day when Israel will return to the Lord and He will heal them and restore them to a place of blessing. There is coming a day when the Jewish people will once again return to the Lord.
While these verses were written to people who lived 2,500 years ago, they still have a message that speaks to our need today. Just like ancient Israel, America needs a revival! Our nation has drifted far away from its religious roots. This country has given itself over to sin and evil of every description. The horror of abortion; the abomination of sodomite marriage; the rampant rise in sin and perversion of every flavor, declare that our nation is miles away from God and needs to find a place of repentance and redemption.
America needs a revival! She needs to be pulled back from the brink of disaster. But, before there will ever be a national revival in America, there must first be a revival within the churches of America. And, before there will be a revival in our churches, there must be revival in the hearts of individual believers. This passage is call for the people of God to humble themselves before God to seek His face for forgiveness and restoration. It is, in essence, an Invitation To Contrition.
Contrition is a word you don’t hear very often. It describes something you don’t see very often either. The word “contrition” means “sincere sorrow over sin, with a desire to repent of that sin.” It describes people who are broken hearted that they have wronged God. They are sorry for what they have done and they want to make things right with Him.
It is a state of heart that God will honor, Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” And, Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
It is the people in possession of a contrite heart who will experience revival. Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
I think this message is one that we need to hear today. We are living in a time when there is very little contrition and sorrow over sin. People, even church people, can live any old way and never feel any remorse over their waywardness. Most of us have a problem with contrition. We are sometimes sorry our sin got us into a problem, but aren’t really sorry we did it! These verses have something to say about that. I want to show you ways God reaches out to those who are far away from Him. I want to preach on The Invitation To Contrition.
The people of Israel had every reason to serve and honor the Lord by their lives. Yet, for no reason, they had abandoned Him and turn to follow other gods. They were a wanton people! They had no discipline in their spiritual lives, like some "christians" today, they wanted God in their lives, but only whenever they needed Him or didn’t have something else to do. The phrase “let us return” (vs 1) implies that a closer relationship than the current relationship once existed. There had been a time in Israel’s past when they were closer to the Lord than they were now. There had been a time when they had followed His Law, sought His face and honored Him above all others. Now, they are far away from Him. They have allowed their relationship to grow cold. Their love for Him is not as strong as it used to be. They had become a wayward, wicked people. Their condition is clearly laid out in Hosea 6-7.