Hosea 12:6 - What God Expects Of His Children. (updated)

Hos.12:6; What God Expects Of His Children. (updated)

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Hosea 12:6 (KJV)  Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and 
judgment, and wait on thy God continually. 

Hosea 12:6 (NLT)  So now, come back to your God! Act on the 
principles of love and justice, and always live in confident dependence on 
your God. 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

God's love is seen against the background of Israel's rebellion 
(11:1-7). In the last days God will restore Israel (vv. 8-11) despite her 
folly (v. 12-12:14). Israel fell into sin (13:1-16), but will return 
to God and be blessed (14:1-9). [The 365-Day Devotional 

Hosea 11:12-13:16 Chasing the Wind.
If you knew that two tornadoes were going to collide, would you 
stand in the middle of them? Israel did, because she thought she could 
play the two superpowers against each other. Hosea called this 
foolish practice "pursuing the wind." (The west wind was Egypt and the 
east wind was the more terrifying Assyria.) Instead of relying on the 
Lord, Israel thought she could control her future through foreign 
policy. History tells us that Israel was destroyed by Assyria. [Quiet 
Time SB] 

Hosea 11:12-12:14 Return to the God of the exodus. 
Israel played one nation against another, to her own destruction 
(Hos. 12:1). "Jacob" (12:2) was used here with reference to his 
descendants, the tribes of Israel. For these incidents in the life of Jacob 
(12:3-4), see Genesis 25:26 and 32:24-28. Hosea reflected on the past 
deliverance of Jacob from Esau when he fled to Aram (12:12; cf. Gen. 29) and 
Israel's deliverance from Egypt by "a prophet," that is, Moses (cf. Exod. 
1-14). Failing to respond to God's grace, "Ephraim" (Israel) would have 
to bear the consequences of sin ("guilt," Hos. 12:14). [New Bible 

In chapter 12 we see the nation "talking big" and boasting of 
her wealth and achievements; yet God says, "They are feeding on 
wind-it's all hot air." The backslidden person may enjoy material wealth 
and physical pleasures, but this will never satisfy the heart or 
glorify the Lord; and in the end the backslider will be poor, wretched, 
blind, and naked. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 


The Lord's Indictment of Israel and Judah  (12:2-14)
Charges against Israel and Judah
The Long History of Rebellion
The People of Israel Ignored What the LORD Had Done for Them  

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Psalm 27:14 (KJV)  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he 
shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.  

Psalm 37:7 (KJV)  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 
fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of 
the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  

Psalm 123:2 (KJV)  Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the 
hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of 
her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he 
have mercy upon us.  

Psalm 130:5-7 (KJV)  I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and 
in his word do I hope. [6] My soul waiteth for the Lord more than 
they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for 
the morning. [7] Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord 
there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.  

Proverbs 1:23 (KJV)  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour 
out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.  

Proverbs 21:3 (KJV)  To do justice and judgment is more 
acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.  

Isaiah 1:16 (KJV)  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil 
of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;  

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew 
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall 
run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  

Isaiah 55:6-7 (KJV)  Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, 
call ye upon him while he is near: [7] 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.  

Jeremiah 3:22 (KJV)  Return, ye backsliding children, and I will 
heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the 
Lord our God.  

Lament. 3:25-26 (KJV)  The Lord is good unto them that wait for 
him, to the soul that seeketh him. [26] It is good that a man should 
both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.  

Hosea 14:1 (KJV)  O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for 
thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.  

Joel 2:13 (KJV)  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and 
turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to 
anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  

Micah 6:8 (KJV)  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and 
what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love 
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  

Habakkuk 2:3 (KJV)  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, 
but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait 
for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.  

Zech. 1:3 (KJV)  Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the 
Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will 
turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.  

Acts 2:38 (KJV)  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be 
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission 
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

Acts 26:20 (KJV)  But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at 
Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the 
Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for 

James 1:27 (KJV)  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the 
Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, 
and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?


Turn thou: a call to repentance and trust. The proof of 
sincerity in heeding this appeal is to be demonstrated, first toward their 
fellows, by keeping "mercy and judgment"; second, toward God, by waiting 
on Him continually........ In our weak and helpless condition, only by 
God's help can we develop the characters we ought to possess (see John 
15:4, 5). We may have the will to return to God, and that is good; but 
it is not good enough unless our will yokes up with the will and 
power of God to make our purpose effective (see Rom. 7:18-20; Phil. 
2:12, 13; Heb. 13:20, 21). These words, "Turn thou to thy God," are 
the grand and sublime call of the gospel for all men in all times 
(see Acts 2:37, 38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30). [SDA Commentary] 


Mercy: Hebrew  a word that can refer to right conduct 
toward one's fellowman or loyalty to the Lord or both--the sum of what 
God requires of his servants. Here it perhaps refers to both. The 
same Hebrew word is translated "love" in v. 4. [NIV SB] 

Keep Mercy And Judgment -- . These two include all the 
SECOND table commandments-- duty toward one's neighbour, the most 
visible test of the sincerity of one's repentance. (Jamieson, Fausset, 
and Brown Commentary) 

Mercy And Judgment: include all our duty to our neighbor, love 
and justice. The prophet. selects the duties of the second table, as 
Micah also places them first, (Barnes' Notes) 

The first two principles that Hosea called his nation to live 
by, love and justice, are at the very foundation of God's character. 
They are essential to his followers, but they are not easy to keep in 
balance. Some people are loving to the point that they excuse wrongdoing. 
Others are just to the extent that they forget love. Love without 
justice, because it is not aiming at a higher standard, leaves people in 
their sins. Justice without love, because it has no heart, drives 
people away from God. To specialize in one at the expense of the other 
is to distort our witness. Today's church, just like Hosea's 
nation, must live by both principles. [Life Application SB mod] 


Wait On Thy God Continually: -- on God alone, not on thy idols. 
Including all the duties of the FIRST table. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown 

Let those that walk with God be encouraged to live a life of 
dependence upon him: "Wait on thy God continually, with a believing 
expectation to receive from him all the succours and supplies thou standest 
in need of." (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

It ought to be on Him alone, on Him always, without doubting, 
fainting, failing, intermission or ceasing, in all occasions and 
conditions which may befall them, without exception of time, even in their 
adversity." (Barnes' Notes) 

We must wait on God because of our need of Him amid the dangers 
that surround us, for in Him is the only source of strength and 
sufficiency. Waiting on God, then, denotes waiting on Him in expectation and 
hope, trusting in Him for help, looking to Him for deliverance. [SDA 


There are three principles in this passage by which we are to 
live and the same three principles are found in Micah 6:8 (NCV) The 
LORD has told you, human, what is good; he has told you what he wants 
from you: to do what is right to other people, love being kind to 
others, and live humbly, obeying your God.  

We must keep in mind here that the commandments indicate that 
our first priority is to God in our vertical relationship with Him 
and that our horizontal relationships with one another come second.  
We can not have a right relationship with one another without first 
having a right relationship with God. (1Jo.1:7) 

God does say in Matthew 5:23-24 (MsgB)  "This is how I want you 
to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of 
worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a 
friend has against you, [24] abandon your offering, leave immediately, 
go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come 
back and work things out with God.  

Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. If we 
have a problem or grievance with a friend, we should resolve the 
problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God 
while we hate others. Our attitudes toward others reflect our 
relationship with God (1 John 4:20). [Life Application SB re Mat.5:23-24] 

It is only through God that we will treat others as God would 
have them treated. [Life Recovery SB] 

Thy God; from him thou hast unjustly and unkindly revolted; 
therefore turn thou to him by repentance and faith, turn to him as thine, 
to love him, obey him, and depend upon him. (Matthew Henry's 

The call of God, "Wait on thy God continually," must be accepted 
and obeyed.... This waiting continually is indeed a necessity. To 
those who are content with a feeble Christian life, it appears a 
luxury something beyond what is essential to be a good Christian. But 
all who are praying the prayers, "Lord! make me as holy as a 
pardoned sinner can be made! Keep me as near to Thee as it is possible 
for me to be! Fill me as full of Thy love as Thou art willing to 
do!" feel at once that it is something that must be had. They feel 
that there can be no unbroken fellowship with God, no full abiding in 
Christ, no maintaining victory over sin and readiness for service, 
without waiting continually on the Lord.... Waiting on God continually 
will be met and rewarded by God Himself working continually.... He 
who by His Spirit teaches you to wait continually, will bring you to 
experience also how, as the Everlasting One, His work is never-ceasing.... 
Your waiting continually will then come of itself. Full of trust and 
joy the holy habit of the soul will be, "On Thee do I wait all the 
day." The Holy Spirit will keep you ever waiting. (Andrew Murray) 
[Spirit Filled Life Devotional SB] 

There are things required in life.  To drive a car, you must 
have a driver's license.  To teach in a public school you need a 
teaching certificate.  These things are required so that a person may 
"do" something, or "be" something. To be a follower of God, there are 
requirements.  Fear God, not as the "Great Punisher in the Sky," but rather 
with a reverence for who and what He is! We can begin to see Him in 
His creation.  To walk in His ways is to order your life, your walk, 
according to His Word, which must be regularly read to know Him more 
fully.  And as you begin to know Him more fully, you grow in affection 
for Him.  And this ultimately leads to the desire to serve Him.  To 
know Him, to love Him, to serve Him.  Is that your desire?  Today 
draw near, read His Word and pray to Him.  It is His desire you 
should.  [In His Time, Walk with Wisdom] 

It is one thing to forgive someone who has asked for your 
forgiveness. It is another thing to forgive someone who admits his guilt, but 
is unwilling to ask for your pardon. And it is something altogether 
Christlike to forgive someone who has offended you in the past-and 
continues to do so in proud defiance. 
Perhaps the most striking thing about Hosea is his willingness 
to forgive the ` unworthy Gomer, even at great personal cost. In 
the same way, God offered forgiveness to the equally unworthy 
Israel-a nation involved in the shameless worship of lifeless idols. 
As far back as the ancient prophets and continuing right up to 
the present, God offers this invitation to sinful men and women: "I 
love you; I forgive you; I want you for my own!" But only those 
willing to repent and return discover the joy of entering into that 
Israel's failure to heed the prophet's call resulted in the 
nation's destruction. Just as surely, those secret sins you may be 
harboring can only hurt you and keep you estranged from God. Open your 
Bible to 1 John 1:8-9; then bow your head and take John's advice. Rest 
assured that God can be depended upon to forgive your sins and to 
cleanse you from all wrong. [Your Daily Walk SB] 

Sin is not only the breaking of God's law; it is the breaking of 
God's heart. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

Sin forsaken is the best evidence of sin forgiven.  [Your Daily 
Walk SB] 

In the Way of the Lord, Watch Your Step! (14:9) It is ironic but 
true that the very paths which cause the righteous to stand will 
cause the wicked to stumble ... every time. [Your Daily Walk SB]