A Call to Repentance

Open Your Bible

Hosea 6:1-11, Hosea 7:1-2, Isaiah 53:1-6, Isaiah 53:11, Matthew 12:1-8

There are so many different ways to know people. You can know a list of facts about a person, but that’s not the same as knowing the exact shade of blue in their eyes, their specific sense of humor, or the way they hold their shoulders when they’re tired. That is the knowing of intimacy and deep friendship.

Have you ever considered how God wants us to know Him like that?

Hosea gives a prophetic image of a God who is angry, yes, but also grieved. In our reading today, the CSB titles the section beginning with Hosea 6:4 “The LORD’s First Lament.” Here we’re given one image after another of God experiencing betrayal and sorrow. “Your love is like the morning mist and like the early dew that vanishes” (Hosea 6:4). In this we’re shown a glimpse of His desire for His people, for “faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (v.6).

We aren’t making burnt offerings these days, but how often do we make sacrifices by trying to do all the right things for God? Throughout our messy history, we’ve devised all kinds of ways to try and stay on God’s good side. We wonder if praying the right prayers, reading the Bible, going to church, and doing good deeds will be enough. Some of us spend our whole lives wrestling with guilt and shame for what we don’t do. And some of us give up trying at all.

But these small lines in Hosea paint a different picture. The God who knows us so intimately that hairs on our head are numbered wants to be seen and known by us (Luke 12:7). What do we do with the idea of an infinite God identifying with our hurts, to the point of becoming human to suffer with us, “despised and rejected…a man of suffering who knew what sickness was” (Isaiah 53:3).

You can hear echoes of the Lord’s lament when Jesus quotes Hosea right back at the Pharisees who criticized His disciples for violating a small Sabbath rule. “If you had known what this means…” He says this to people who knew Scripture better than just about anyone (Matthew 12:7)! 

When we meet a God who wants to be sought and known, then we can hear the call to repentance in His lament. We don’t have to settle for just knowing about God in the form of facts and theological ideas. We don’t have to stay in a cycle of sacrificing and striving to try and keep God from getting mad at us either.

Hosea offers us a different invitation: “Let us strive to know the LORD. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land” (Hosea 6:3).

(54) Comments

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54 thoughts on "A Call to Repentance"

  1. spring bowen says:

    God wants nothing more than for us to have a close and intimate relationship with Him. One where we trust in Him and follow Him in everything He is asking.

  2. Lynda Pontious says:

    See Him and know Him

  3. Shannon Hamilton says:

    What an insanely beautiful book Hosea is! God longs for us to know Him, God lived and experienced all our griefs and sorrows for us, God radically forgives all our wrongs against Him and just wants us to find Him and love Him

  4. Adriana Scott says:


  5. Arlene Pimentel says:

    Three things I pray for you. At the end of your life: Fought the fight., Finished the race. , Kept the faith. You can do it in Christ.

  6. Sarah Morrison says:

    Steadfast and not sacrifice… surrender not striving – God I want this if I keep seeking your face there is perfect love this side of heaven!

  7. Sarah Morrison says:

    One day at a time… God goes before you and HE will never leave you!

  8. Lauren Brook says:

    This is amazing!! God is so with you in this journey.