When we ended yesterday, the LORD had committed to letting all of Israel endure the full consequences of their sin. The LORD would not chase or protect them anymore, but wait for Israel to seek Him. What will Israel do?
 “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.” (ESV)
After a long, hard winter, the refreshing rains and sunshine of spring has come!
Who is talking in these verses? The prophet, Hosea, seems to be petitioning for the people to turn back to the LORD. The prophet is pleading for the people to love the LORD the most. The prophet is encouraging the people to not let the suffering be for nothing, but let it be a guide directing them back to the LORD.
Circle in purple any lines above that make you think of JESUS.
1 Corinthians 15:3–4
 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (ESV)
Because of JESUS we are able to live before our GOD.
Because of JESUS we can be forgiven the sins we commit against GOD.
Because of JESUS’ sacrifice we are made whole again.
Do you know GOD as GOD?
Do you acknowledge all of your sin as sin?
Do you agree that JESUS took on the sin of the world when
He was crucified and then He rose from the dead (as only the One True GOD could do)?
Do you love the pleasure of your sin or GOD more?
If you are holding on to sin, maybe even calling it something else, let it go and be refreshed.
Our GOD is like a refreshing rain.
Let the rejuvenating water roll over you and be renewed.
Let your relationship with the LORD be watered and grow.
Talk to GOD. He is at the door waiting for you.
GOD loves you!
 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. (ESV)
There is a lot to unpack in these three verses, so hold on and stay focused.
GOD is talking to all of Israel, Ephraim and Judah. What two things did GOD compare their love to?
Is that the kind of love you would desire? No, and neither does our GOD!
That kind of love that could be likened to false worship.
Worship that is given at convenience.
Love that is conditional on the one giving it to profit.
Circle “therefore” above. GOD is saying that since Israel does not truly love Him, this is what He is going to do.
 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.” (ESV)
GOD sent His prophets, not the prophets that proclaimed GOD but were actually false prophets, to turn Israel back to the LORD. Those who did not heed the Word of the LORD through the prophets, would be plucked up, broken down, destroyed, and overthrown. With the remnant, GOD would build and plant.
GOD’s judgement will go forth as the light. The light will reveal what is not seen in the dark. Like the morning light that dries up the dew from the dark of night, GOD’s light will melt away the false worship and reveal one’s true love. Tomorrow, we will stay on these verses from Hosea, deciphering the line between legalism and love. See you then!
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.
“Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/.
Green, Jay P. “Hosea.” The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament: With Strong's Concordance Numbers above Each Word, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, MA, 1985, pp. 2075–2092.
Publishing, Rose. Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines. Rose Publishing, 2015.
Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Together with Dictionaries of the Hebrew and Greek Words of Th. Hendrickson Publishers, 1990.