Come, Let Us Return! By Pastor Dr. Bob Bannister

 Note From Dr Dan Abaldo:-Pastor Bob just finished his D. Min, it was a long haul, he did it and thank the lord for Bob. He worked hard, and he filled his dream, so this post is by the associate Pastor of the site, now called, Pastor Dr.Robert Bannister ( Bob) Congratulations Bob on your degree .

Hos 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.

(Hos 6:2) "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.

(Hos 6:3) "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."

An initial overview of these three verses, written by the prophet Hosea (his name means “the Lord saves”) would likely draw some interest as it mentions tearing and healing, wounding and bandaging, being revived, then pressing on. I would like to spend some time breaking these three verses down so that we can gain proper doctrinal understanding, and then most importantly apply these verses to our lives. Let's begin with properly defining some of the words in their ancient Hebrew:

torn: טרף ṭâraph taw-raf'
A primitive root; to pluck off or pull to pieces; causatively to supply with food (as in morsels): - catch, X without doubt, feed, ravin, rend in pieces, X surely, tear (in pieces)

bandage: חבשׁchâbash khaw-bash'
A primitive root; to wrap firmly (especially a turban, compress, or saddle); figuratively to stop, to rule: - bind (up), gird about, govern, healer, put, saddle, wrap about.

raise: חבשׁ châbash khaw-bash'
A primitive root; to wrap firmly (especially a turban, compress, or saddle); figuratively to stop, to rule: - bind (up), gird about, govern, healer, put, saddle, wrap about.
(interestingly raise and bandage are the same)

press: רדף râdaph raw-daf'
A primitive root; to run after (usually with hostile intent; figuratively (of time) gone by): - chase, put to flight, follow (after, on), hunt, (be under) persecute (-ion, -or), pursue (-r).

Beginning with verse 1, the words “Come, let us return to the Lord” brings about the idea of a repentant heart before the Lord. The Israelites had been taken captive in Assyria as a result of their idolatry and sinful manner of living. As we meditate upon this verse it would be well for us to examine idolatry and sin within our own hearts, and to consider where we are corporately as a church and as a nation. Consider the following excerpt:

This is God's last call to the northern kingdom in that day, but it also looks to the future of that nation when God will heal them; although He has torn them, He intends to bind them up. This should be a warning that God will judge the sin of any nation that makes a profession of being a Christian nation and which has had the benefit of the Word of God. J. Vernon McGee

God had allowed them to suffer serious consequences because of their evil ways. Verse 1 says “He has torn us-but He will heal us”, or put another way He has wounded then bandaged us. As we look further into verse 2, it says that He raised us. Notice above in the Hebrew definitions that the translation for bandage and raise is the same for these two words. I have heard the term: “chabash” (khaw-bash') before and understood it to mean putting a stop to something-but never had realized that this is a Hebrew term from which we obtain this word as sometimes used in a slang sort of way in our own language. God simply allowed suffering due to sin, then after a time put an end to that suffering.
That estrangement from God is the source of all its trials. Because the prodigal left his father’s home he got reduced to the utmost infamy and wretchedness. Moral separation from God is ruin. Cut the branch from the root and it withers; the river from its source, and it dries up; the planet from the sun, and it rushes into ruin. Nothing will remove the evils under which society is groaning but a return unto God. Legislation, commerce, science, literature, art, none of these will help it much so long as it continues away from Him...The fact of backsliding. Had there been no wandering from the Lord, there would have been no need of a return to Him... God’s dealings with the backslider. “He hath torn--He hath smitten.” It is in mercy, and not in wrath, that God deals with His backsliding children. Punishment has for its object, the vindication of the authority of God as the moral Ruler. It is judicial as well as remedial. But its chief purpose is the backslider’s restoration...The philosophy of the Divine judgments is here most explicitly expounded. The motive of every Divine judgment, within the limits of this life, is mercy. We see but dimly what may lie beyond this life. Here, at any rate, the one constant patient aim of God, by every means of influence which He wields, is to bring men unto Himself. From The Biblical Illustrator
(Isa 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
(Jer 3:22) "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to You; For You are the LORD our God.
(Lam 3:40) Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.
(Job 5:18) "For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.

This short, but concise excerpt gets right to the point. We the people need to renounce our sinful ways, quit resisting God and being influenced by the ways of mere mankind.
I have raised this question because Hos_6:1-3 is a favorite, familiar passage for preaching and teaching. It is used as a call for people to return to God. But we need to be careful not to offer our people marked-down grace. We can avoid this by interpreting the word return in the context of the entire Book of Hosea. The Preacher's Commentary

Continuing with verse 6:2 we see that this is a prophecy not only for that time for the nation Israel but also a picture of the future resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ three days after He was placed in he tomb. Most importantly this verse shows us that if we truly repent and confess faith in Jesus Christ we will bring death to our old ways and bring forth a new life in Christ, that is resurrection from sin, the sin which leads to eternal separation from God.
(1Co 15:4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

(Rom 6:4) Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

(Rom 6:5) For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

(Rom 6:6) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

(Rom 6:7) for he who has died is freed from sin.

(Rom 6:8) Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

(Rom 6:9) knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

(Rom 6:10) For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

(Rom 6:11) Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Before we specifically cover verse three I would like to insert this excerpt as I think it covers the message I would like to convey in such a personal, practical manner:
This is presumption, not genuine repentance. The people did not understand the depth of their sins. They did not turn from idols, repent of their sins, or pledge to make changes. They thought that God's wrath would last only a few days; little did they know that their nation would soon be taken into exile. Israel was interested in God only for the material benefits he provided; they did not value the eternal benefits that come from worshiping him. Before judging Israel, however, consider your attitude. What do you hope to gain from your religion? Do you "repent" easily, without seriously considering what changes need to take place in your life? From The Life Application Study Bible

The second part of verse 3 seems that the thoughts are written in a bit of an abstract manner. The prophet Hosea uses rain to show us our dependance is upon the Lord as our knowledge of Him grows as we come increasingly before Him and surrender our lives under his care.

He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth - So of Christ it is foretold, “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth” Psalm 72:6. Palestine was especially dependent upon rain, on account of the cultivation of the sides of the hills in terraces, which were parched and dry, when the rains were withheld. The “former,” or autumnal “rain,” fell in October, at the seed-time; the “latter” or spring “rain,” in March and April, and filled the ears before harvest. Both together stand as the beginning and the end. If either were withheld, the harvest failed. Wonderful likeness of Him who is the Beginning and the End of our spiritual life; from whom we receive it, by whom it is preserved unto the end; through whom the soul, enriched by Him, hath abundance of all spiritual blessings, graces, and consolations, and yieldeth all manner of fruit, each after its kind, to the praise of Him who hath given it life and fruitfulness. From Albert Barnes “Notes On The Whole Bible” 

God Bless You Today, Pastor Bob