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The Second Sunday after Pentecost A, June 11, 2023

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The Second Sunday after Pentecost A, June 11, 2023

The Lord speaks of hiding.  He will return to his place, away from the people.  The Lord will hide from his people until they are guilty and distressed (vs. 5:15).  Next, the people respond to the Lord’s withdrawal (vs. 6:1-3).  They issue an exhortation to one another, “Come, let us return to the Lord.”  They announce how the Lord has worked among them, tearing that he may heal… striking down that he may bind up.  The people are confident that their repentance will bring the desired result from their Lord—that is, that he will revive them and raise them up.

Then the Lord speaks again (vs. 6:4-5).  The Lord laments over his people, “What shall I do with you…?”  The Lord knows the people’s repentance is fickle.  They will fall away once more.  That has been their history… a history of unfaithfulness.  They have proved time and again unable to be steadfast in their love of their Lord.  Their love of the Lord fades like morning clouds… like the dew that appears at dawn but melts away when the sun rises.  Time and again the Lord has brought the consequences of their fading love upon them, hewing them… slaying them… and judging them… Yet, none of that has proved effective in making a faithful people… a people as steadfast in their love of their Lord as their Lord is steadfast in his love for them.  The Lord desires that his people know him as “The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6).  But the people insisted on their practice of sacrifice, presenting their Lord with burnt offerings.  They replaced the desired knowledge of their Lord’s steadfast love with a love of their own sacrifices.

Table Talk:  Discuss how sacrifice replaces knowledge of a loving God today. 
Pray:  Heavenly Father, grant that I trust your once for all sacrifice in Jesus Christ as the revelation of your steadfast love.  Amen

Hosea 5:15-6:6

5:15 I will return again to my place,

until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,

and in their distress earnestly seek me.

6:1 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.

2 After two days he will revive us;

on the third day he will raise us up,

that we may live before him.

3 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.

4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?

What shall I do with you, O Judah?

Your love is like a morning cloud,

like the dew that goes early away.

5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;

I have slain them by the words of my mouth,

and my judgment goes forth as the light.

6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,

the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

male and female he created them.