“Come and let us return unto the Lord—for He has torn and He will heal us; He has smitten and He will bind us up.  After two days will He revive us; in the third day he will raise us up and we shall 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 6:1-3

     If there were ever a time to do it, it’s now; if there were ever any believers to declare it, it’s us.

     When we hear the word “repent,” so often we picture a fiery, pulpit-pounding evangelist or some wide-eyed fanatic wearing a sandwich-board sign on the side of the street, with spittle dripping down his beard, crying at passers-by “Repent! Repent!” as he points his finger at them.


     While such dramatic, emphatic exhortations are often necessary to help wake us up, the picture in today’s Manna is that of a prodigal son who’s “come to himself and said ‘I will arise and go to the father” (Lk. 15:11-18).  Afflictions have a way of breaking our pride and stubborn will, unless we allow a “bitter root to spring up within us and thereby many be defiled” (Heb. 12:15).


     No, this call to “Come and let us return unto the Lord” is a subdued one—a call to surrender, if you will.

     And, it arises in our affliction. . .acknowledging a loving Heavenly Father “has torn us,” but now “wants to heal us”. . .that in Love “He has smitten us, but now longs to bind us up.”  Just as an earthly shepherd occasionally had to break the leg of an incorrigible, continually-straying sheep and then carry it around his neck until the break healed, so does Jesus, our “Wounded Healer and Good Savior-Shepherd bear our griefs and sins” (Is. 53:4, 6).


     Likewise, how wonderful it is to know He hears our cry when we find ourselves at “Wit’s End Corner and brings us to our desired Haven” (Ps. 107:26-30)—which is in His loving arms.  Hallelujah!!


     With His Resurrection Power, “after two days He revives us and on the third day He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight.”

     Like Jesus’ arising from the tomb after three days, so does the Heavenly Father specialize in “quickening us together with Christ, raising us up together with Christ and making us to sit together with Him in Heavenly places” (Eph. 2:5-6).


     Aren’t you glad?


     Then, He after “setting our feet upon the Rock, He establishes our goings and puts a new song—a song of praise—in our mouths so others will see it and fear and trust in the Lord” (Ps. 40:1-3).  And, in so doing we shall “follow on to know the Lord. . .to follow in His footsteps. . . as He comes to us as the rain—the latter and former rain unto the earth.”


     Isn’t that the essence and results of true revival, dear Pilgrim?  Let today be the day we declare to all we see:  “Come, let us return unto the Lord.”  Amen and amen.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 27, 2010

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