Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.
— Hosea 6:1-3
Knowing God is a key to revival.
That statement sounds like a given, but there is a deeper meaning to this insight from Hosea 6:3 and it should direct our prayers for national revival.
What does it mean to “know the LORD”?
Knowing God means that we understand what God is like.
- We know what He cares about, what grieves Him, what makes Him happy, what makes Him angry.
- We understand how He is patient and also how His anger can be quickly kindled.
- We realise His incredible love, mercy, and grace, and also His commitment to justice.
- We know what He expects from us and how He feels about those expectations.
When we do not know what God is like, it leads to disobedience because we think that God doesn’t really care if we meet His expectations. This misunderstanding was the number one problem in Hosea’s day (see Hosea 4:1-6) and it brought about the Father’s judgment.
But the LORD promises that if His people restore a right view of Him, and therefore a right way of living before Him, then He will pour down blessings upon them again. He will bring revival. Knowing what God is like makes all the difference in our relationship with Him, and the same is true for us today.
In our Christian culture, for example, you will hear Christians wrongly voice sentiments like “you can’t be any more pleasing to God than you already are,” implying that God doesn’t really care if we sin or if we don’t. But that’s not true and that gives a wrong impression of what God is like. We can certainly please God more and more (1 Thessalonians 4:1) or we can grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30) and bring His judgment on ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). The Lord pays attention to our hearts and actions, and He deals with us in appropriate fatherly wisdom. You can see how knowing what God is like directly affects our lifestyles, which directly affects God’s response to us.
Let’s pray for a true and renewed knowledge of God in American Christianity – “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD.”
Our Father, thank You for revealing Yourself to us in the Bible, in our Lord Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for taking You so lightly, for not laboring to know You rightly, and for taking Your kindness for granted. O Lord, heal the proud hearts of Your people in America. Wash our minds anew with Your word that we might walk uprightly with You. Thank You for Your eager promise to revive us when we return to You as You require. Bring about this process of revival. Let it be done in Jesus’ mighty name!
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