Even in January, the sun rises. It might seem slow in coming, it may be hidden behind a canopy of gray clouds, but the sun is definitely there. Every morning. Without fail.
We don’t rush to our bedroom windows in fear. What if it doesn’t rise? What if we live in darkness? We know better. We trust, we believe, we have faith, because every morning of our lives, the sun has risen.
And every moment of our lives, God is with us. Even if we don’t see Him, we can experience His light, His warmth, His presence.
Hosea 6:3 builds on that assurance, encouraging us to draw closer to the One who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Take a look at this beautiful verse with me.
Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3
Let us acknowledge the Lord;… Hosea 6:3
Such a good plan for a new year. “Let’s strive to know the Lord” (CSB), who so intimately knows and loves us. Let’s make it our goal to “become personally acquainted with Him” (AMP) by studying His Word and reaching out to Him in prayer.
If reading the whole Bible in a year sounds intimidating, how about simply reading the Bible every day? For me, five minutes soon becomes fifteen, as I’m drawn into the story or the lesson or the glorious truth of God’s grace.
And how about praying before we rise from our beds each morning? Before we reach for our phones or our slippers, imagine the first word we think or speak being His name. Lord Jesus, good morning.
What if we made this the cry of our hearts this year? “Oh, that we might know the Lord!” (NLT).
…let us press on to acknowledge him. Hosea 6:3
I love this challenge to press on. The Hebrew word is often translated “pursue, chase.” It’s active, it’s physical. Let’s go. Let’s move. Let’s “seek to know the Lord!” (NET).
If you’re thinking, Liz, I already know Him, perhaps now is the time to get to know Him better. To know His character, to know His trustworthiness. If we’re truly “eager for God-knowledge” (MSG), then let’s “follow on, that we may know the Lord” (DRA) and learn to “honor, heed, and deeply cherish Him” (AMP).
A wise course for the months ahead, dear friend. For you, for me, for all of us.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; Hosea 6:3
It’s the perfect visual aid. Our hearts and minds quickly picture that moment when the upper curve of the sun breaks the horizon and daylight pierces the darkness.
This is how God comes to us. In the weighty silence of His presence, we feel utter peace and exceeding joy. A new dawn. A new day. Hope.
As the prophet Hosea described it, “His going forth is prepared as the morning light” (DRA), and “as certain as the morning sun” (CEV). In the same way sunrise is never a surprise, when the Lord draws near, “we know he is coming, just as we know the dawn is coming” (ERV).
It must be said, these promising words from Hosea are surrounded with difficult ones, beginning with “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Chapter after chapter, the prophet charged Israel with unfaithfulness. “But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception” (Hosea 10:13).
Painful to read, and more painful still to confess our own unfaithfulness. Even the most devoted among us has failed the Lord countless times. As the psalmist wrote, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3). Not one of us could.
And yet, in the next breath, redemption. “But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you” (Psalm 130:4). It’s the same with the whole book of Hosea. Buried in the center is this hope-filled promise, “You can be sure the sun will rise. And you can be just as sure the Lord will appear” (NIrV), rescuing His people, giving them hope and a future.
…he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3
Another visual aid, engaging even more of our senses. Rain has a scent all its own, fresh and earthy. And a sound all its own, pelting our windows. When it lands on our skin, rain can be as soft as a warm caress or as hard as icy needles.
One thing is certain. Rain cannot be resisted or ignored. Nor can the Lord.
Even if our faith has grown cold, He comes to us “as gathered rain” (YLT), “renewing the earth” (CEV) and “refreshing the ground” (MSG). In time, our hardened hearts yield to His living water and receive the healthy seeds He plants inside us. Grow. Grow.
He has not forgotten us, even if we’ve forgotten Him. “As surely as the rains come each year — those spring rains that drench the earth — He’ll come back to us” (VOICE).
This year and always, make Him welcome, beloved.
Lord Jesus, in the same way You created the sun to shine and the rains to fall in due season, You continue to fill us with Your light and wash us with Your cleansing grace. We can never thank you enough. Amen and amen.
I can hardly wait to see you again! Starting February 1, join me for Rise and Shine Mondays on Facebook LIVE. A scripture, a story, a reflection, and a prayer, shared in a few lively minutes. All the joy-filled encouragement you need to start your week with a smile, every Monday @ 8am EST.
Too early? Catch it later on Facebook. I’ll be waiting for you, I promise.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear your response to this question: When was the last time you intentionally watched the sun rise? And what do you remember about that moment? On Monday, January 11, I chose 5 names at random to win an autographed copy of my devotional book, Rise and Shine: Cindy, Jean, Marilyn, Jane, and Linda, congrats one and all.
So grateful to start the new year with you, and looking forward to Rise and Shine Mondays starting February 1!
Your sister, Liz