“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.” – Hosea 6:1 (KJV)
In today’s blog, we will entertain exercises that are essential in returning and renewing a relationship with God. According to the Scriptures, it starts with the right heart of prayer. In reviewing Hosea 6:1, there are two essential elements that are required to establish a right relationship with God.
1. We must trust and embrace God’s hand of correction.
“…He has torn, but He will heal us: he hath smitten, and he will bind us up…” Hosea is reminding Israel that they should trust in the God who chastened her. Hosea prays with the right heart in response to the chastening hand of God. Instead of arguing with God, or resenting His correction, Hosea leads Israel in humble prayer.
2. When God disciplines us, we should pray with a contrite heart and not a combative heart.
The heart that responds with repentance will be able to trust the love of God, and embrace His hand of correction in his or her life. Often, a rebellious child will cry and complain in the face of correction that their parents do not love them. However, the truth is that the parents do love the child, but the child’s rebellion blinds him to the parent’s love and care. Similarly, those who rebel against God are blinded to His benevolence. As a result, they naturally blame Him and see His behavior toward them as unloving, insensitive and unfair! Before spanking, a child may cry to the parent, “Be blind and be benevolent to my behind!” But what the parent has in mind is that discipline will save a soul from the hands of hell (Proverbs 23:14)!
Do you remember the first rebels in human history and their response to the chastening of the Lord? Let’s look at the examples of Adam, Eve and Cain. Ask yourself: did they respond with a heart of repentance and personal responsibility and place their trust in God because they embraced His hand of correction?
“And he said, ‘I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.’ And he said, ‘Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?’ And the man said, ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ And the LORD God said unto the woman, ‘What is this that thou hast done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’” - Genesis 3:10-13 (KJV)
In this example with Adam and Eve, we see them display an emotion of fear that resulted in placing blame which was an attempt at self-vindication and a display of pride.
“And the LORD said unto Cain, ‘Where is Abel thy brother?’ And he said, ‘I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?’ And he said, ‘What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.’ And Cain said unto the LORD, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear.’” - Genesis 4:9-13 (KJV)
Cain displayed dishonesty and a self-righteous attitude that resulted in a charge of extreme judgment.
The Scriptures indicate that a prideful attitude in response to God’s loving correction will invite judgment. But the heart that responds with repentance will be able to trust the love of God and embrace His hand of correction in his or her life.
Join me again next week when we visit other elements that are important to renewing our walk with God.
Not a Sermon But a Thought,