By: Lou Yeboah
For I am married to you…” [Jeremiah 3: 14-20]. Surely, as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me.” [Isaiah 54:5-17]. Return, O backsliding children!
You know, the first three chapters of Hosea tell the story of the prophet and his wife, Gomer. This story is an allegory of God and Israel. Gomer took strange lovers and eventually even left Hosea. In chapter 3, God told Hosea to again show his love to her. She had left him, but he found her for sale as a slave and bought her for 15 shekels of silver and some barley grain. He told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you” (v. 3). This is an illustration of how God’s love continued to reach out for His people, even though they had sinned against Him.
For years now God had shown such long-suffering towards you, just as He did Sodom. Restraining His anger, giving you much time to repent and change your ways. Truly, God is love, so much so that He somberly declares, “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: Turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die [Ezekiel 18:23; Ezekiel 33:11]. My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” [Genesis 6:3].
Listen, don’t be one of the multitudes of people who will lift up their eyes from Hell, crying out as they remember the “random” incidences where the Holy Spirit tried to reach them. Don’t be like the Pharisees. Jesus in His great love, sent the Pharisees men like the Apostle Paul, all His disciples, and James and Jude, to be huge obstacles to the unbelief of the Pharisees. Yet, the Pharisees climbed over those obstacles and continued on their way to Hell. Don’t you do it! For it is a dreadful thing to die in the very act of sin—to be caught away by the justice of God even while the transgression is being perpetrated! Jesus boldly told the Pharisees they were “serpents”, and a “generation of vipers”, and that they were going to Hell. Like the angels told Lot, you better “Flee for your life! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away.” [Genesis 19:17].
What do you have to look forward to if Christ is not your Savior? At best, you have only a few more years in this world with its pleasures, its troubles and sorrows. Then come death without hope and nothing beyond but everlasting doom. What folly to go on without Christ and miss heaven. Jesus says, “Come NOW, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” [Isaiah 1:18].
Hosea guided Israel to return to a faithful relationship with the Lord. “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. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him…” [Hosea 6:1-3].
I want you to know that God created you to have a relationship with him. And unless you are growing in that relationship, you are missing out on the best that God has for you. You are missing out on God’s daily love and guidance, his peace and assurance in your life. You are missing out on the main reason why you are here. If you have walked away from God in your life in any way, even just a little bit, it’s time to return. Return, O backsliding children, says the Lord!
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6-8].
“Now I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” [Deuteronomy 30:19] Return, O backsliding children, says the Lord!