As Sure as the Sun Rises!
Message by:
Leroy Surface

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.  Hosea 6:1

 The prophet Hosea’s message is to the “backslider.”  My message today is taken from Hosea 5:10 through Hosea 6:5.  In God’s dealing with the tribes of Ephraim and Judah, we can receive powerful insight into God’s dealing with the backslider.  In Hosea 5:10-11 God reveals the sin of these two tribes. 

The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound.  Hosea 5:10 

Judah was departed from God because their princes were “like them that move the bound.”  There are many, even entire congregations, that are away from the Lord because the “bounds” have been moved.  In Romans 1:25, Paul spoke of the same sin in Israel, saying, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and served and worshiped the creature more than the creator.”  The result of “moving the bounds” of truth can only result in the spiritual death of the individual or the church that is under such rule.  In Romans 1:26, Paul said, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections.”  The sin that has invaded the church and the lives of many “believers” is stark testimony that the “bounds” have been moved, and the “lie” has been believed.

Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.  Hosea 5:11

A better translation is “He willingly walked away from the commandment,” the word translated “after” meaning “hind part,” and from a root meaning “to loiter,” or “to procrastinate.”  What a dangerous thing for anyone who has ever known the Lord to do, to “willingly walk away.”  Hebrews 10:26-27 gives grave warning to all who do such.  “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”  Many have mistakenly judged that there is no way back for these, that they are eternally lost without hope of forgiveness.  The message is this: if you “willingly walked away,” and “willfully sinned,” you “must” repent and come back.  There is no other saviour but Jesus.  There is no other sacrifice, and there will never be another sacrifice for sin.  There is no salvation in any other.  Having “walked away” you face only eternal damnation to come if you do not return to the Lord with all your heart.

Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.  Hosea 5:12

God’s first “judgment” concerning Ephraim and Judah is that He would come to them as a “moth,” and as “rottenness.”  Let them return to the Lord quickly, and they will suffer but little.  Let them delay, and their “clothing” and their “house” will be completely destroyed.  I remember my childhood.  When my mother would put our winter clothes away for the summer, she would always pack a few “mothballs” in the box with them.  If she failed to protect them with mothballs, winter would return, and invariably we would find the moths had eaten holes in our warmest clothes.  It didn’t happen overnight, and it always happened when you did not know it was happening, but the moths came, and our clothing was destroyed.  “Rottenness” comes to the house.  I can remember my dad having to replace the foundation beams of our house because of the “rottenness” that came.  Again, it never destroys overnight, but it will always destroy the house if it is not torn out and replaced.  Rot always attacks the foundation of the house.  It will move up the walls and if unchecked the entire house will someday fall, because the foundation is destroyed. 

When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.  Hosea 5:13

When the “moth” and the “rottenness” were discovered, instead of returning to the LORD, Ephraim and Judah put their trust in Jareb, the king of Assyria.  In the natural, you may get an exterminator to kill the moth, and carpenter to replace the rot, but if God Himself has become the “moth” and the “rottenness” unto you, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to help you.  To turn to man when God is seeking to bring you to Himself is to only increase the destruction in your life.  Repent, and turn back to the Lord quickly.  Place your trust Jesus Christ.  If not, things can only get worse.

For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.  Hosea 5:14

God’s judgment against these two tribes for turning to Assyria instead of to Him was severe.  He said “I will be as a lion unto Ephraim, and as a young lion to Judah.”  To be sure they knew that it was God that did it, He emphasizes, “I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.”  In that they did not repent when He came to them as the moth and rottenness, God came to them in fury, as a lion to bite, to tear, and to devour.  “None shall rescue him,” God said.

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.  Hosea 5:15

God, after having torn them, and stripped them, left them alone in their misery.  He would visit them no more until they “acknowledged their offence, and sought His face.”  So many of you who read this are like Ephraim and Judah, torn, stripped, and in your misery.  You once knew the Lord.  Someone moved the bounds; someone preached a lie.  You walked away from the Lord.  Little things went wrong in your life.  You didn’t know that God was the moth that came, that He was the rottenness that destroyed the foundation of your hopes and dreams.  The Spirit of God was faithful to deal with your heart at the beginning, but you continually thought that “mom” or “dad” or some other person could help you “get back on your feet.”  You turned repeatedly to man, but they couldn’t help.  You didn’t turn to the Lord, until such time the “lion” came.  Now, your life is destroyed, you can’t believe, you don’t think the Lord would even hear you if you called, but you are mistaken.  He said “I will leave them until they acknowledge their offence and seek my face.”  It is time for you to call on Jesus.

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.  Hosea 6:1

The backslider can have assurance that he can return.  First, recognize that your troubles came to you because you “willingly walked away.”  Don’t make excuses.  It wasn’t really anyone else’s fault.  It doesn’t matter what he or she did to you.  Acknowledge your offence, and seek the Lord.  If He has torn, He will heal.  Let your attitude in returning be “He hath torn, and He will heal me; He hath smitten, and He will bind me up.”  It is His promise to you if you will return to Him.

After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Hosea 6:2

“After two days…”  Your troubles didn’t come overnight.  They began as the “moth” and “rottenness.”  It took some time for things to get so bad.  Maybe you’ve lost your wife, husband, or family.  Maybe sickness or some other tragedy has found its place in your life.  It may take a little time change some circumstances, but immediately, when you return to the Lord with all your heart, your “heart” will be healed.  He will “bind you up.”  The joy of salvation and the peace of God will fill you and flood over you.  You will love Jesus again, and you will know that “He first loved you.”

The “two days,” and the “third day” in this verse are actually a prophecy of the time Jesus spent in the tomb before God raised Him up.  It is a prophecy of His death, burial, and resurrection.  The gospel proclaims that we are “crucified, buried, and resurrected” with Christ.  In repentance and faith you die; your “old man” crucified with Christ.  Now, through faith in Him, we are “raised up with Him,” and we “live in His sight.”

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.  Hosea 6:3

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD…”  Your heart is plagued with doubts from Satan.  “What’s the use?  I’ve tried before! God won’t hear me.”  What you “tried before” was to “change yourself” so God would receive you.  That will never work.  The “offence” that stands between you and God is that you “walked away” from Him, but you can never simply “walk back to Him.”  Repent of the offence; “God, be merciful to me. Forgive me for walking away from you.”  Forget everything else that has happened since you “walked away.”  When that one “offence” is dealt with, you will be restored and you will be freed from sin to serve Him.

“His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain…”  O, what a wonderful promise this is, and it is given to the backslider.  The Hebrew word translated “is prepared” is “kuhn,” meaning “to render sure.”  The Hebrew word translated “his going forth” is “mowtsa’,” meaning “a going forth; specifically, the rising of the sun.”  When understood as God promised it, there can be no greater assurance than God gives to the backslider in this verse; “As sure as the sun rises in the morning, He shall come unto to us…”  The only condition, as God said in Hosea 5:15, “acknowledge your offence, and seek His face.”  Paul called it “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Lost man or woman, whether you are a “backslider” or you’ve never been saved, don’t wait another day.  Today is the day of salvation.  While the Holy Spirit convinces you and draws you to Jesus, turn to Him in repentance and faith.  I can’t put the words in your mouth, but let the cry of your heart come up out of your mouth to God.  Surrender to your life to Him, and accept His forgiveness, and “follow on to know the Lord.”  If you do so, “as sure as the sun rises in the morning, He will come to you,” and, as the scripture continues, He will come “as the rain.”

Your soul has been dry, dusty and parched.  It has been a barren place.  Several times in the past you have “tried to serve the Lord,” but you have always failed.  In next verse, Hosea 6:4, God says, “what shall I do unto thee?  For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.”  All of your “promises” to the Lord, your “commitments,” your “good intentions,” your “efforts” to serve Him; each of these made you “feel better” for a short time.  God said that man’s “goodness is like the early dew, it goeth away.”  You’ve tried to “keep the commandments:” that’s “your goodness.”  You must have “His righteousness.”  Your goodness is but “dew,” but His righteousness is “rain.”  If you will confess your sin and turn to the Lord with all your heart, He will come to you as the rain.  It is the promise of God to the backslider.

I will close with one final word from the prophet Hosea:

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.  Hosea 10:12

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.  Hosea 6:3

“It’s just as sure as the sunrise”