Hosea 6

* An exhortation to repentance. (1-3) Israel's instability and

breach of the covenant. (4-11)

1-3 Those who have gone from God by consent, and in a body,

drawing one another to sin, should, by consent and in a body,

return to him, which will be for his glory, and their good. It

will be of great use for support under afflictions, and to

encourage our repentance, to keep up good thoughts of God, and

of his purposes and designs concerning us. Deliverance out of

trouble should be to them as life from the dead. God will revive

them: the assurance of this should engage them to return to him.

But this seems to have a further reference to the resurrection

of Jesus Christ. Let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God,

that when the prophet foretold the deliverance of the church out

of her troubles, he should point out our salvation by Christ;

and now these words are fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ,

it confirms our faith, that this is He that should come and we

are to look for no other. Here is a precious blessing promised;

this is life eternal, to know God. The returns of the favour of

God are secured to us as firmly as the return of the morning

after a dark night. He shall come to us as the latter and former

rain unto the earth, which refreshes it, and makes it fruitful.

The grace of God in Christ is both the latter and the former

rain; and by it the good work of our fruit-bearing is begun and

carried on. And as the Redeemer was raised from the grave, so

will He revive the hearts and hopes of all that trust in him.

The feeblest glimpse of hope in his word, is a sure earnest of

increasing light and comfort, which shall be attended with

purifying, comforting grace that makes fruitful.
4-11 Sometimes Israel and Judah seemed disposed to repent under

their sufferings, but their goodness vanished like the empty

morning cloud, and the early dew, and they were as vile as ever.

Therefore the Lord sent awful messages by the prophets. The word

of God will be the death either of the sin or of the sinner. God

desired mercy rather than sacrifice, and that knowledge of him

which produces holy fear and love. This exposes the folly of

those who trust in outward observances, to make up for their

want of love to God and man. As Adam broke the covenant of God

in paradise, so Israel had broken his national covenant,

notwithstanding all the favours they received. Judah also was

ripe for Divine judgments. May the Lord put his fear into our

hearts, and set up his kingdom within us, and never leave us to

ourselves, nor suffer us to be overcome by temptation.
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