on Hosea 6 :3
Then shall we know - We shall have the fullest evidence that we have not believed in vain.
If we follow on to know the Lord - If we continue to be as much in earnest as we now are.
His going forth - The manifestation of his mercy to our souls is as certain as the rising of the sun at the appointed time.
And he shall come unto us as the rain - As surely as the early and the latter rain come. The first, to prepare the earth for the seed; this fell in autumn: the second, to prepare the full ear for the harvest; this fell in spring. Here is strong confidence; but not misplaced, however worthless the persons were. As surely as the sun, who is now set, is running his course to arise on us in the morning, and make a glorious day after a dreary night, so surely shall the Lord come again from his place, and the Sun of righteousness shall arise on our souls with healing in his wings. He is already on his way to save us.
on Hosea 6 :3
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord - Rather, "Then shall we know, shall follow on to know the Lord," i. e., we shall not only know Him, but we shall grow continually in that knowledge. Then, in Israel, God says, "there was no knowledge of Him;" His "people was destroyed for lack of it" Hosea 4:1, Hosea 4:6. In Christ He promises, that they should have that inward knowledge of Him, ever growing, because the grace, through which it is given, ever grows, and "the depth of the riches of His wisdom and knowledge is unsearchable, passing knowledge." We "follow on," confessing that it is He who maketh us to follow Him, and draweth us to Him. We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity. For here "we know in part" only; then "shall we know, even as we are known. We shall follow on." Where shall we "follow on?" To the fountains of the water of life, as another prophet saith; "For He that hath mercy upon them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them" Isaiah 49:10. And in the Revelations we read, that "the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters" Revelation 7:17. The bliss of eternity is fixed; the nearness of each to the throne of God, the "mansion" in which he shall dwell, admits of no change; but, through eternity, it may be, that we shall "follow on to know" more of God, as more shall be revealed to us of that which is infinite, the Infinity of His Wisdom and His Love.
His going forth - that is, the going forth of God, "is prepared," firm, fixed, certain, established, (so the word means) "as the morning." Before, God had said, He would withdraw Himself from them; now, contrariwise, He says, that He would "go forth." He had said, "in their affliction they shall seek Me early or in the morning;" now, "He shall go forth as the morning." : "They shall seek for Him, as they that long for the morning; and He will come to them as the morning," full of joy and comfort, of light and warmth and glorious radiance which shall diffuse over the whole compass of the world, so that "nothing shall be hid from its light" and "heat." He who should so go forth, is the same as He who was to "revive them" and "raise them up," i. e., Christ. Of Him it is said most strictly, that "He went forth," when from the Bosom of the Father He came among us; as of Him holy Zacharias saith, (in the like language,) "The Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Christ goeth forth continually from the Father, by an eternal, continual, generation. In He "came forth" from the Father in His Incarnation; He "came forth" to us from the Virgin's womb; He "came forth," from the grave in His Resurrection. His "coming forth, as the morning," images the secrecy of His Birth, the light and glow of love which He diffuseth throughout the whole new creation of His redeemed. : "As the dawn is seen by all and cannot be hid, and appeareth, that it may be seen, yea, that it may illuminate, so His going forth, whereby He proceeded from His own invisible to our visible became known to all," tempered to our eyes, dissipating our darkness, awakening our nature as from a grave, unveiling to man the works of God, making His ways plain before his face, that he should no longer "walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth - So of Christ it is foretold, "He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth" Psalm 72:6. Palestine was especially dependent upon rain, on account of the cultivation of the sides of the hills in terraces, which were parched and dry, when the rains were withheld. The "former," or autumnal "rain," fell in October, at the seed-time; the "latter" or spring "rain," in March and April, and filled the ears before harvest. Both together stand as the beginning and the end. If either were withheld, the harvest failed. Wonderful likeness of Him who is the Beginning and the End of our spiritual life; from whom we receive it, by whom it is preserved unto the end; through whom the soul, enriched by Him, hath abundance of all spiritual blessings, graces, and consolations, and yieldeth all manner of fruit, each after its kind, to the praise of Him who hath given it life and fruitfulness.
on Hosea 6 :3
6:3 Know - What worship he requires. And the knowledge of God shall be to us a spring of all holy, righteous, sober conversation. Follow on - By a diligent attendance to the word, and works of God, we shall know experimentally, how holy, how good, how faithful God is. His going forth - Before his people; his gracious, faithful, holy, just, and wise providence, for his peoples good and comfort. As the morning - As sure, beautiful, grateful, and as clear as the morning; which dispels the darkness, and proclaims its own approach. As the rain - Which revives, makes it fruitful, beautifies it, and gives a new face to all.