Are We Like the Morning Cloud?
Hosea 6:4-6 “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For your goodness is as a morning cloud, as early dew it goeth away.
Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain by the words of My mouth: for thy judgements are as the light that goeth forth.
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
The morning cloud promises much. “Maybe there will be the rain we need.”
But the day gets hot and the morning clouds go away.
The early dew evaporates as soon as there is a little sun.
Both look good, but give no lasting benefit.
So were the “revivals” and changes of Ephraim and Judah.
God would send a prophet to preach repentance to them; to restore them to His fellowship and blessing.
But though they would often “repent” when God was chastening them; yet as soon as that was removed, they would resume their idol worship.
We all know what an idol is: it is a fabricated god. We worship it. It is what we put into first place in our lives.
Worship is worthyship: counting God, or whatever, worthy of ourselves. (Our time, our awe, our confidence.)
Worship comes from the Hebrew “to fall down before”.
Sadly, though Israel saw miracle after miracle in deliverances, and blessing; yet they kept choosing to put their confidence in stones, and wood; rather than the Living God. (Jeremiah 10:10-11)
(If you really want to see God’s thoughts about the idols, read: Isaiah 44:15-17. One part of the tree, warms the man, another he bakes bread with, and the rest he fashions into a god! God is laughing at their devotion to stocks!)
Many even came and brought sacrifices to the Lord; and then went out and offered sacrifices to idols.
God said, “If your heart was not in the sacrifice you offer Me. It is nothing……
I desired mercy and not sacrifice.”
The Lord wanted them to obey Him….with their hearts….then the sacrifice they brought would really be looking forward to the great sacrifice, Christ Jesus.
He wanted them to give mercy….had not He given them mercy many times?
This is what He wanted for them:
For Israel to know Him,……to get their hearts right with Him,…and their brothers.
He has always wanted this: for His people to know Him.
To “see” Him as He is: the Almighty God, who rules the heavens and the earth; and yet loves us.
And with this love, He seeks fellowship with us.
So God says:
Hosea 5:15 “I will go and return to My place (heaven), till they acknowledge their offense, and seek My face: in their affliction they will seek Me early.”
When God leaves us (though not really, but in our feelings)……when we quench the Spirit by unbelief, disobedience, or seeking some other way to do His Will;…….then He will wait to see if His absence makes us “wake up” to our need of Him.
The prophet Hosea calls to his people “to return”
Hosea 6:1 “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.”
The call to everyone who has gone away from God is always: “return”.
Return to God, and return to His way for you.
He will heal us; and will restore (bind us up).