“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”- Hosea 6:1-2
The Lord, in His long-suffering, dealt very kindly with His erring Israel, sending them favor after favor, and blessing after blessing, saying by His acts, “I have given them their corn, and their wine, and their oil, they will surely turn unto Me and say, ‘Our Father, thou shalt be the guide of our youth.’ But the more He multiplied His bounties, the more they multiplied their iniquities, and they burned sacrifice unto the gods of Edom, and of Moab, even to those that were no gods, saying, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which have given unto thee thy corn, and thy wine, and thy oil;” so they spent the mercies of God in sacrifice upon their idols…consuming upon their lusts the very mercies which God had sent to bring them to repentance.
Now, my brethren, the people of Israel are but a picture of ourselves…God has tried you with mercy upon mercy; kept you long in health, till you scarce ever had a day’s sickness; given you all that you could wish, till your cup was brimming and flowing over; but you used His mercies for your own self-indulgence, and the bodily strength which was given you to be a blessing you have made a curse. Streams of mercy never ceasing God has vouchsafed to you, but your only return has been stream of sin, broad, and black, and deep. And now today He has been changing His ways with you…You are troubled and sore broken..you are complaining.-“I am the man that has seen affliction;” and perhaps worse than that you are groaning, “His wrath lieth hard upon me, I cannot look up.”…Oh! may you…whose case is the case of Israel in Hosea, may you say, “Come, and let us return unto the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.” I desire to come straight up to you who are in this condition and put my hand inside yours, holding you fast while I strive in God’s name to reason with you, beseeching God the Holy Spirit to reason better than I can, sweetly moving your soul, till you say, “I will arise and go unto my Father.”~ C.H. Spurgeon