The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bridley, Jr. This is LeSaire Bridley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. I'm certainly thankful for so many of you who are faithful supporters of this work, contribute regularly to help keep the program on the air.
And I would encourage others of you who are enjoying the broadcast, wanted to stay on your station, we'd like to hear from you and your help would be much appreciated. Our mailing address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Cast down, but not destroy Cast down, but not destroy While of this precious truth I sing Cast down, but not destroy Of the united powers upheld My soul has sore annoyed And yet I live this truth to tell Cast down, but not destroy Cast down, but not destroy Cast down, but not destroy And yet I live this truth to tell Cast down, but not destroy In all the past through which I pass On mercies I've enjoyed And this shall be My song at last Cast down, but not destroy Cast down, but not destroy Cast down, but not destroy And this shall be My song at last Cast down, but not destroy When I with God in heaven appear There shall I him adore Destroy shall be My sin and fear And I cast down no more And I cast down no more And I cast down no more Destroy shall be My sin and fear And I cast down no more We'd like very much to hear from our listeners, know that you were there and to hear how the message has had an effect in your own life. I would appreciate you writing us at the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. This is a five Sunday month and so the need is particularly great at this time.
When you write us, if you request it, we'll send you a sample copy of our publication, The Baptist Witness. Today we continue with the message from Hosea chapter six entitled, Return unto the Lord. I will read the text Hosea chapter six verses one to three. Come and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn and he will heal us. He hath smitten and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us, in the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight.
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord, his going forth is prepared as the morning and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth. Now there are three simple points that we're noting in this portion of scripture. First of all, God smites. Secondly, God heals. And thirdly, God hears.
It may seem rather strange in the ears of some people to think that God smites, but this is exactly what the text says. That God had smitten his people for a purpose, to humble them, to bring them to repentance. And so we have the promise then that God heals and God hears. And we'll be talking about all of this today if you want to get this message, the complete message. The first part of it that we aired last week and this one today just requests that the title of the message, Return unto the Lord.
Once again that address is the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Now if God smites his own, those whom he has chosen, those whom he loves, those whom he has redeemed, what's to be expected then concerning his dealings with the wicked? Psalm 7 verse 11 says, God judgeth the righteous and God is angry with the wicked every day. Even in spite of his anger, his mercy is seen because he tells us that he sends the rain upon the just and the unjust. But the fact is, God sees every sin that every human being commits. And because he is holy, he despises sin and therefore is angry with the wicked every day.
Now you'll meet with people today that say, Oh my God is only love. They say, My God would never punish anybody. They believe, just as it was said in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 32 and the 17th verse, new gods that came newly up. So when somebody tells you, when somebody says, My God would never punish anybody, you can mark that down, that is a new God newly come up. That's not the God of the Bible. That's not the God that created heaven and earth. That's a new God. Some will say, My God loves everybody.
He will save everybody. He would never condemn anyone. What kind of a God would it be that would never punish a person that is guilty of a great crime? I read about a man who attacked a woman, abused her terribly and buried her alive. And when that man would be brought to trial, suppose the judge says, I'm a man that loves everybody. And I deal with everybody on the basis of love.
So I set you free. Would you want that kind of a judge to be ruling in your community? What kind of chaos would there be if there were no laws and no penalties and if there were no judges that would uphold the law?
We desire that even as far as our life here from day to day. What kind of a God would it be that looked on a man that had committed such a terrible crime and said, That's okay. I love you anyway. That's a God that's fashioned after the carnal desires of a fallen sinner. Somebody describes what their God is like. They're making a God according to their own preferences who is no God at all. Because the God of men's imagination do not exist.
They can't help anybody. The God of the Bible is a God of holiness. The one true and living God. The book of Nahum chapter 1 verse 3 says, The Lord is slow to anger and great in power and will not at all acquit the wicked. He's not going to say, That's all right. I didn't like what you did but my love is such that there'll be no consequences. The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm the clouds of the dust of his feet.
He will not at all acquit the wicked. And then Galatians chapter 3 verse 10, For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book. Look at your own life. Examine your own heart. See how far short you have come in being able to say, I've kept the commandments perfectly. Jesus summed it up by saying, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, heart, soul and strength. You certainly fail on that score and thy neighbor as thyself and you fail there also. Guilty under a curse. God smites.
But the good news is that God also heals. These people to whom the message has been delivered and have suffered some of the consequences of their sinful actions now are turning to the Lord. No longer did they turn to the Assyrians as they were described as doing in one of the earlier passages, or to King Jarod.
No longer did they take the name of Balaam to their mouth, and no longer did they seek counsel of their stocks and staff. What does that mean? It means that some of their gods were carved out of wood. You would think that anybody with any kind of intelligence would know if I have carved out a piece of wood, no matter what shape it may be, no matter how interesting and intriguing it might be.
It's still a piece of wood and to think I'm going to worship this thing, and I'm going to expect it to help me when I'm in trouble. That talks about the staff. When I was a boy, they didn't have a lot of organized sports. So when we got a group together in the neighborhood and decided we were going to play softball, we'd take a bat, let one boy start with his hand on it, and then choose up, I should say, that there were going to be two guys who were going to be the captains of their team. So one puts his hand on the bat, and then the other puts it, and he puts his hand under there, and he puts it all the way down, and the last man with his hand on the bat got to pick first. Well, they say that's what this meant by the staff, that they had a staff and the diviner would put his hand on it, and he'd put his other hand and put his other hand and go down. When he got to the bottom, then I don't know how they figured out what the message was, but that was supposed to convey the message that whether his left hand or his right hand wound up on the staff at the bottom, then they decided, we've been divinely directed, here's what we ought to do. Oh, the folly of false religion.
And to think, there are people still today that will read their horoscope, or depend on the Ouija board or some other strange method of trying to make their choices and find out what's going on in life and how they should conduct themselves. But these people have seen now how ridiculous that approach was, and they're no longer going to the staff and to the stock. They no longer have the name of Balaam in their mouth. So by faith, they're seeking better things. God had withdrawn from them so that they would seek his face, and now they are seeking. In Lamentations chapter 3 in the 32nd verse, it says, But though he calls grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
Isn't that good to know? He causes grief, he sends trials, he brings affliction, he chastises us for a reason because he loves us because he wants to make something out of us, and he then has compassion according to his many, many mercies. As the people pray, they say he will revive us when we've wandered, when we've strayed from him, when we've grown cold spiritually, when we've fallen into sin, we need to turn to him immediately, knowing that he can raise us up, he can stir our hearts, he can give us the awakening that we need so desperately.
We then enjoy the fullness of life. He shall raise us up and we shall live in his sight. The child of God is not really living when he's walking disobediently, when he's giving way to the influences of the world, when he's harboring the idols of his heart. He's not really living.
There's conflict going on. If he's a true believer, if he's had an experience of grace, there's a conflict between the old man and the new. The old Adam nature still would lead you down the wrong path, but the Holy Spirit of God cries out against that. When you've grieved the Holy Spirit, you're made to realize, I'm traveling the wrong path, I have disobeyed, I need to return to the Lord.
And when you do, and he lifts you up, then you enjoy what life really is all about. Verse 2 says, We shall live in his sight. Psalm 16 and verse 11 says, Thou wilt show me the path of life. In thy presence is fullness of joy.
At thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Never be guilty of leaning to human wisdom and some of the strange philosophies of men to try to make your choices in life. To come up with some concept that whatever happens today, I'm going to look for certain signs to tell me, and if this happens or that happens, then I'll be sure this is what I'm supposed to do. I suppose that when Jonah, who wanted to run away from his assignment, saw that there was a boat going in the opposite direction from where God had told him to go, he might have thought, well this is providential, I've got a boat here, I'll just get on board and go. Let me tell you, everything that is made available to you is not of God.
You can't assume because this is an open door, how to enter it. So never make your choices based on such folly, but on the clear declarations of his word. Now there is also reference here that he will raise us up on the third day. And there are those who believe this has a reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ because the raising up of his people, certainly the initial resurrection from being dead in trespasses and in sin, must occur based on his resurrection from the dead. And then the raising us up from times of spiritual coldness and weakness is still dependent upon the living Christ. And the apostle in writing of the church at Corinth says, I turn to you the gospel and speaks of the fact that Christ arose after the third day and says that this was according to the scripture.
So this is the only place in the scripture that it talks about the third day and consequently some believe this is specifically what's under consideration. So God hears, God heals and God hears. He hears when his people cry from a broken heart. He's not going to hear if it's just some idle words. He's not going to hear if it resembles the prayer of the Pharisee who is only bragging on himself rather than humbling before God.
But he hears when the cry is from a broken heart. Verse 66, verse 2, But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembleth at my word. To whom will the Lord look upon favorably? What prayer will he hear? Who can have expectation that God will grant the request? To this man will I look, the one that is poor. To this blessed of the poor in spirit. This one who is of a contrite spirit.
This one who trembles at the word of God. He hears when the request is for the right thing. He hears when you come confessing your sin. If we confess our sin, he's faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. What a contrast between the prayer of the Pharisee and the prayer of the publican.
The Pharisee was bragging. The publican was acknowledging, I am a sinner. God be merciful to me, the sinner. God will hear that prayer. Verse 1 in our passage speaks of a desire to be healed and to be bound up.
He will hear that kind of a request. Lord I am a sinner and I need to be bound up. I have been broken in the midst of my trials. You have torn and you are perfectly doing the right thing.
I acknowledge it, don't say this and complain. But Lord you have torn me in the midst of my afflictions and now I pray you will bind me up and heal me. And then they speak in verse 2 of a desire to know the Lord, to know Him. One of the charges that Hosea had brought earlier was that although these people took to their lips the name of God, they didn't really know Him. They didn't understand who He was, what He was like, what His designs and purposes were.
And that's why they were influenced by the false gods around them. But when you have a desire to know the Lord, Lord I want close fellowship with you. I want to know more about you. I want to understand your Word better. I want my life to honor you in every detail, in the use of my time, my resources.
I want to serve you. God will hear that kind of a prayer. And then He hears when you are encouraging others. Verse 1 says, come and let us return. So it's not just one person.
It's not just Hosea if indeed these are his words. Let us come. Let us come. It should be our aim always to encourage others to seek the Lord and to do that which is right. Hebrews chapter 3 verse 13, but exhort one another daily while it is called today. Exhort one another daily. Do you do that? Well, you might say, I have so many challenges in my life.
I just got to be thinking about getting through the day. But you know, when you think about exhorting others, you think about their struggles and their needs, and you try to encourage them and minister to them, some of those burdens that seem so heavy that you are carrying in your own difficulties seem to be of lesser degree. There is a joy and a blessing in ministering to others. When we come as a church and wash one another's feet in keeping with the lesson of John chapter 13, one of the things we are saying to that, I'm willing to be at your feet. I'm willing to serve you. I'm willing to minister to you. That ought not to be just our attitude in that service, but it ought to be our attitude in our spirit every day of every year.
Come, let us return, the people say. Speaking to others, come, let us rejoice in the goodness and mercy of God. Let us talk about his wonderful truths. Let us remind ourselves of the abundant mercies that he has shared upon us. He hears us when we call today. Notice when he is talking about exhorting one another, he says to do it while it is called today.
And in 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 2, he says, Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation. If you have to admit that you have drifted from the Lord, maybe there is some significant sin in your life that you need to acknowledge, come before God and ask His forgiveness. Maybe it is a matter of just failing in your duties from day to day. Maybe you have neglected His word, you have not been diligent in prayer. Maybe you have been so consumed with the responsibilities of making a living, taking care of the daily duties from a material standpoint, you have forgotten the spiritual needs of your family.
You failed to meet with them, teaching them, showing them your deep interest in their spiritual welfare, communing with them. If you find yourself having drifted, then return. Now, today is the time. Today, come let us return. And if you are one who has struggled with questions and doubts and been even fearful that your sin is too great, there will be no need for you to even come. But if the Lord has torn you, if He has pricked your conscience, if He has brought you to know your need and to know, I am a lost, ruined sinner, I cannot save myself, I need hope, I need help and only He can give it, come to Him today. Jesus says, come unto Me and I will give you rest.
All ye that labor in the heavy laden, I will give you rest. Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out. Put your faith in Him, knowing that it is only through His sacrificial death, only because He went to the cross, laid down His life, paid the price that you could never pay, and you are going to believe He is your salvation, He is your Savior, you're trusting Him.
May you trust Him today. Come and let us return unto the Lord. What a comfort to know that even after God smites His people, according to the passage that we have looked at here in the book of Hosea, that He does promise to hear them. And if you see your great need of His mercy, grace, and help today, you can call upon Him and expect that He will hear, and of course there's but one mediator between God and man, and that's the man, Christ Jesus. So as we approach the Lord through His name and according to what He has accomplished on our behalf, we can expect that God will hear. The title of this message, Return unto the Lord.
If you'd like to get the complete message on CD, request it when writing us. Until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. Thou knowest of my care, Jesus my King, Thou knowest of grief I bear, to Thee I cling. Savior, I come to Thee, be Thou my light. Upward my footsteps lead, out of the night, into the heavenly day, bright with thy love, lead me, O Lord, I pray, O Word of God.
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