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
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
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.  My soul waiteth for the Lord more than
they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for
the morning.  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:  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.  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 AND JUSTICE
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 OR DEPEND ON GOD
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,  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
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]