Hosea 6

1 “Come, and let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us to pieces, and he will heal us; he has injured us, and he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD. Let us press on to know the LORD. As surely as the sun rises, the LORD will appear. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain that waters the earth.” 4 “Ephraim, what shall I do to you? Judah, what shall I do to you? For your love is like a morning cloud, and like the dew that disappears early. 5 Therefore I have cut them to pieces with the prophets; I killed them with the words of my mouth. Your judgements are like a flash of lightning. 6 For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 But they, like Adam, have broken the covenant. They were unfaithful to me, there. 8 Gilead is a city of those who work iniquity; it is stained with blood. 9 As gangs of robbers wait to ambush a man, so the company of priests murder on the path towards Shechem, committing shameful crimes. 10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing. There is prostitution in Ephraim. Israel is defiled. 11 “Also, Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, when I restore the fortunes of my people.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-3

Those who have gone from God by consent, and in a body, drawing one another to sin, should, by consent and in a body, return to him, which will be for his glory, and their good. It will be of great use for support under afflictions, and to encourage our repentance, to keep up good thoughts of God, and of his purposes and designs concerning us. Deliverance out of trouble should be to them as life from the dead. God will revive them: the assurance of this should engage them to return to him. But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ; and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we are to look for no other. Here is a precious blessing promised; this is life eternal, to know God. The returns of the favour of God are secured to us as firmly as the return of the morning after a dark night. He shall come to us as the latter and former rain unto the earth, which refreshes it, and makes it fruitful. The grace of God in Christ is both the latter and the former rain; and by it the good work of our fruit-bearing is begun and carried on. And as the Redeemer was raised from the grave, so will He revive the hearts and hopes of all that trust in him. The feeblest glimpse of hope in his word, is a sure earnest of increasing light and comfort, which shall be attended with purifying, comforting grace that makes fruitful.

Verses 4-11

Sometimes Israel and Judah seemed disposed to repent under their sufferings, but their goodness vanished like the empty morning cloud, and the early dew, and they were as vile as ever. Therefore the Lord sent awful messages by the prophets. The word of God will be the death either of the sin or of the sinner. God desired mercy rather than sacrifice, and that knowledge of him which produces holy fear and love. This exposes the folly of those who trust in outward observances, to make up for their want of love to God and man. As Adam broke the covenant of God in paradise, so Israel had broken his national covenant, notwithstanding all the favours they received. Judah also was ripe for Divine judgments. May the Lord put his fear into our hearts, and set up his kingdom within us, and never leave us to ourselves, nor suffer us to be overcome by temptation.

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