SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
Restoration on the Third Day
by Pr. Dave Mann
Do you believe in prophecy? I do. I especially believe that much about the life of Jesus was foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament. However, if you do a careful study of the prophecies, you will discover that the uses of the word “prophecy” have different meanings, especially by writers of other cultures and eras.
If you expect a prophecy to have one specific application, you find that not all of them are like that. Some of the prophecies have a clear fulfillment in Jesus, but they may also have had a connection in a former time. Other prophecies simply seem to allude to the life of Jesus.
This is the case of the “prophecy” in today’s passage. Hosea may have had no idea that he was writing anything about the resurrection of Jesus which was to take place more than 700 years later, but now we see that it did. Hosea was instructed by the Lord to live a life of pain and sorrow, marrying a woman whom he knew would be unfaithful to him. This was to provide a window into the broken heart of God. He wanted Hosea and us to see that He created humans whom he knew would be unfaithful to him again and again.
In the midst of this broken life, Hosea writes about how the Lord will heal brokenness and work restoration. This healing or restoration is not something that happens immediately, but it takes time, two or three days. "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence."
This is not a kind of prophecy that has only one fulfillment. It certainly was fulfilled in the life of Hosea the prophet. It has been fulfilled many, many times in the lives of God’s people throughout the ages. But the ultimate fulfillment of Restoration was on the third day following Jesus’ crucifixion when Jesus broke the bonds of death.
Do you have a broken heart, a broken dream, a broken relationship? Then hear the words of Hosea: "Come, let us return to the Lord…Let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear."
Lord God, thank you for the many prophecies in Scripture that point us to yourself. We long for your prophecies to be lived out in our lives. Thank that the ultimate fulfillment is in Jesus. Amen.