Hosea’s life was a picture of the sin of the nation of Israel. His wife was horribly unfaithful to him, so also, the nation of Israel had betrayed their side of the covenant with God. This leads God to the point where he said, “I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.” (5:15)
God is omnipotent, which means he is all-powerful. If God turns away, His presence and influence are still present. Thus, the idea of God returning to His place (or turning away in general) is a metaphor for God allowing people to reap the consequences of their actions.
The sin of Israel breaks the heart of Hosea because he intimately understands the devastation of unfaithfulness. This leads the prophet to try to rally his people, “Come, let us return to the Lord” (6:1). God, in his faithful, covenant love, is always willing to revive those who humble themselves and repent.
Verse 6 is one of the greatest passages in the Old Testament. While people’s love and commitment may be fleeting, God said, “I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Covenant always implies obligation for the two parties involved. Although Israel has not upheld their part of God’s Covenant, God will never fail—God will “restore the fortunes of [His] people” (11).
Although we, as the Church, are not under the Old Covenant, through the New Covenant, we are partakers in God’s unending, irrevocable covenants. There may be disagreement on how this works, but we can all be thankful that no matter how far we go, God will restore those who humble themselves and repent.
Hosea is a book of hope, that even in humanity’s deepest rebellion God’s hesed, covenantal love, will never be revoked. There are consequences to rebellion and sin, and God will sometimes turn his face away, or return to His place, and let us face consequences—He is a good Father after all. But like any Father, rebellion does not alter the relationship, it only hinders the fellowship. God will ultimately finish what he started; the Unstoppable Movement that we’ve been discussing on Sunday mornings.
How has the book of Hosea encouraged you as we’ve discussed the Unstoppable Movement series on Sunday’s and in Connect Groups?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate