I Don’t Wanna Hear What You Think I Wanna Hear

I’m exploring the question – What is God seeking from us when we repent? Read this interesting passage from the prophet Hosea:

“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 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.” “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Hosea 6: 1 – 4

Hosea 6 is marks the moment when the people of Israel have had an earful of God’s legitimate complaints against them. So Israel responded by saying “we’ll change”– kind of! Israel said, “We will return to God” because of course “God will bind up our wounds.” While it was true that God would bind up their wounds, they believed the healing would be quick – “after two days He will revive us, and on the third day he will restore us.” In other words they said, “Okay God, we’ll return to you so that you’ll stop handing out consequences, and start making it all better for us very quickly!” Israel also said, “Let us press on to acknowledge God” because “as sure as the sun rises He will come to us like the winter rains.” In other words, “Okay God, we’ll honor you so you’ll give to us once again all the comfort and prosperity we want for ourselves” Israel said all of the right things, but tune into God’s response. God boldly declares, “What can I do with you . . . Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.”

God expresses frustration in the face of Israel’s well-worded apology. Why? The answer is found in the text – “Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” Interestingly the word “love” is the Hebrew word hesed the highest word for loyal-no-matter-what-love. Thus, God is saying Israel’s version of hesed was as real and lasting as “the early dew that disappears.” In short, God was frustrated by Israel’s apology because it was insincere. To be more accurate, the people were sincere in saying just the right things to try and talk their way out of further trouble, but they were not sincere in any real desire for sustainable change. God proclaimed, “Just saying what you think I want to hear is not authentic repentance.  How about a little truth!?” So how does God want us to respond when He corrects us? God speaks to us in the same way that He spoke to Israel, “Please stop saying what you think I want to hear, and start telling me the truth!”

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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