Come, Return to the Lord

From Lynda Lindsey 

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert to speak tenderly to her. Hosea 2:14

I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. Hosea 6:1-3(a)

“I, ____ take thee, ____ to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; thereto I plight thee my troth.” To plight our troth to another is to pledge love, commitment and loyalty to our spouse, promising to remain faithful unto death. Plighting our troth to another parallels God’s loving betrothal to His people to Himself forever, in righteousness and faithfulness, justice and compassion.

God’s people in Hosea’s time had defiled themselves with adultery and debauchery. God, in an effort to win back the affections and hearts of His wayward people, speaks tenderly of alluring the Israelites into the desert, a place thought of as empty and free from distraction. Here God could offer hope and restoration. In that yet future day of Messiah’s rule, we will be so lovingly betrothed to God forever that unfaithfulness will be nonexistent! His reign of peace will ensure war will be abolished. We will lie down in safety. Hope will abound; singing will be heard. The earth will drip with fatness of grain, new wine, oil.

That day of new beginnings will come, but not yet. There may be many desert days before that time. God allures His people into the desert to speak tenderly to us. We hear His voice more clearly where there are fewer distractions. He promises restoration, healing. Acknowledge the Lord; press on to acknowledge Him. Turn to the Lord. Return to the Lord. Allow Him to draw you into His loving Presence. He speaks tenderly and He awaits eagerly.