O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity.…
In Hosea's days idolatry was first universally set up and countenanced by regal power. Here we have —
I. AN EXHORTATION TO REPENTANCE, WITH THE MOTIVES ENFORCING THE SAME. Every word hath its weight, and in a manner is an argument to enforce this returning. "Israel" is a word of covenant. Return unto the "Lord Jehovah," who is the chief good, the fountain of all good. "Thy" God in covenant, who will make good His gracious covenant unto thee. Thou hast fallen by thine iniquity; thine own inventions have brought these miseries upon thee, and none but God can help thee out of these miseries. God comes not as a sudden storm upon His people, but gives them warning before He smites them. He is a God of long-suffering, and has a special regard to His own children. Another point —
II. THE BEST PROVISION FOR PREVENTING OF DESTRUCTION IS SPIRITUAL MEANS. Of all spiritual means the best is, to return to the Lord. In this returning there must be a stop. To make this stop there must be examination and consideration, humiliation and displeasure against ourselves, judging and taking revenge of ourselves, for our ways and courses. There must be a resolution to overcome impediments. In the original it is a very emphatic, "Return even to Jehovah." Do not only begin to return, but so return as you never cease coming till you come to Jehovah. Where there is a falling into sin there will be a falling into misery and judgment. The cause of every man's misery is his own sin. Then take heed of sin. Pray to God to make our way plain before us, and not to lead us into temptation. "Take with you words." They who would have help and comfort against all sins and sorrows must come to God with words of prayer. Barrenness and want of words to go unto God are blameworthy. This is for consolation: if they can take words, and can pray well, they shall speed well.
( Sibbes, Richard, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.