♣ Repentant Returning
Chapter 7, verse 16: “They return, but not upward; they are like a treacherous bow.”
We all encounter backsliding, wandering and straying from the Shepherd’s side; if our devotion weakens one degree, we are already drifting away no matter how fervent we may appear when we wrongly compare ourselves to others. God’s standard for us is never in comparison to others but to the standard He raises for each one of us individually – “What is that to you? You follow Me.”
When looking honestly at these chapters of Hosea, we see much of ourselves in them. Thank God for His mercy who has continued with us faithfully! We may not always taste the joys of our salvation – that is our own undoing. If we are redeemed, God will be at work in our lives one way or the other; through blessing in our obedience or chastening in our obstinate disobedience. One can know happiness in their circumstances, but not the joy of salvation; one may know conflict, adversity and heartache in circumstances, yet experience the joy of salvation (Romans 5:2-5, 1 Peter 1:6).
“They return, but not upward…” The word ‘upward’ in this context is also interpreted as ‘to the Most High’. “Come, let us return to the Lord… let us press on to know the LORD.” Israel and Judah appeared to be returning in the right direction, but not in truth; their hearts remained divided. David in Psalm 51 said, “Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being.”
A true, repentant returning is not just asking for forgiveness or even healing from the effects of backsliding, but one whose heart cannot rest, cannot find contentment in anything until that relationship is restored. Nothing else matters until that is fixed.
Posted on November 1, 2011, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 1 Peter 1:6, backsliding, devotional, Hosea 6-7, Hosea 7:16, Mark Anthony Williams, Repentant Returning, Romans 5:2-5, salvation, they return but not upward, true repentance. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.