“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
I don’t remember ever having read this verse before, though surely I must have. This morning it speaks clearly, like a rainbow on the edge of a storm. I long for revival. The closer I come to Him the more I realize how much more I want, and need, of Him in my own life. As I weep for myself, I weep for the church and pray that the people who are called by God’s name will seek Him, will make Him THE priority on every level.
As I reflected on the verse, I decided to look up the word “acknowledge.” The results of my search were appropriate to Hosea’s message to Israel and our need today:
1. admit, accept, grant, allow, concede, accede to, confess, own, recognize.
2. greet, salute, address; nod to, wave to, raise one's hat to, say hello to.
3. express gratitude for, show appreciation for, thank someone for.
answer, reply to, respond to.
The attitudes expressed by these words should characterize our relationship to God. They give weight to what Solomon says in Proverbs 3:6: “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” To ignore God is to suffer the dangers inherent in walking crooked paths.
Hosea tells us to “press on,” to keep insisting in this acknowledgment of God, even when the situation seems desperate. In Hosea’s world, Israel was thriving materially, but had wandered far, far away from God. His own life became an illustration of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. He was called upon to take the unusual step of marrying a woman who would not keep her marriage vows. In the end, Hosea had to buy her back out of a local slave market. He must have had many moments when he wept over his relationship with his wife, and despaired over Israel’s relationship with her God. Some have called Hosea “the prophet with the broken heart.”
However, Hosea’s own life also illustrates the heart and hope encapsulated in this verse. Just as he rescued and forgave his wife and kept his part of their marriage covenant, so God would do the same for His people. Hosea’s faith shines through as he insists on acknowledging the Lord despite the bleakness of the circumstances. He urges his listeners to “press on” in their relationship to God. He knows that just as he went to Gomer’s aid and offered her incredible love and forgiveness, so God would come and show those same mercies to Israel.
This promise remains current. Many in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying the renewal of life as spring comes once again. Just as the spring rains herald renewal in the physical world, so God will come and bring revival, restoration, and renewal, to our spiritual world.
Don’t despair. Acknowledge Him. Press on in worship and intercessory prayer. Like the sunrise, He will come.