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Hosea 12:5 -

Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial.

The God who appeared to Jacob, who conversed with him in reference to his posterity as well as himself, and whom Jacob found at Bethel, was the God of Jacob's succeeding race; the God against whom they had trespassed, but to whom they are now urged to turn.

V. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE PRECEDING STATEMENTS . The application which the prophet makes of the subject is introduced with a "therefore." This "therefore" gathers up the several foregoing thoughts into one urgent appeal.

1. Motives to repentance . By the fact of Jacob's wrestling with God and the success of this spiritual struggle, by the memorial of the name Jehovah as an index of the unchanging mercifulness of his nature, and by the implied spiritual declension of his descendants, the people of both the northern and southern kingdoms in general and each individual in particular are earnestly admonished to turn to God, their fathers' God, their own God, as it is stated, "Therefore turn thou to thy God."

2. Fruits meet for repentance . The amendment answerable to repentance comprises the duties of the so-called second table of the Law. Justice and mercy may be regarded as a summary.

VI. TRUE REPENTANCE INCLUDES , AS ITS NATURAL EFFECT AND TRUE EVIDENCE , THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR DUTY TO GOD AS WELL AS TO MAN . The former duty is here expressed in the words "wait on thy God continually" The connection of the words is very suggestive. Repentance is put to a practical test and its sincerity proved; the proof consists of a right discharge of the duties we owe both to man and God. The duties to man are put first, because we not infrequently find persons showing a zeal for the outward ordinances of religious worship and yet neglectful of mercy and judgment to their fellow-creatures; and, on the other hand, such duties are never discharged aright where God is not truly worshipped; they may be determined by fits and starts, but Dot steadily and continuously as the keeping of them requires, unless there is genuine godliness. Thus morality has its root in religion, and religion without morality is only a name without reality. In order, therefore, to keep, in the sense of regularly observing mercy and justice, there must be continual waiting upon God.

VII. THE NATURE OF WAITING ON GOD . Waiting on God implies want and weakness and danger on our part, as also that God is the Source of fullness, of strength, and of sufficiency. It also implies service. "As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God." Waiting on God denotes waiting on him in expectation, trusting in him for help, looking to him for deliverance.

1. The whole of religion is at times summed up in the expression, "waiting on God;" in this sense the psalmist uses the words three times in a single psalm. After confessing his own faith in God, he prayed for all that possessed like precious faith, saying, "Let none that wait on thee be ashamed." Again, addressing God his Savior and supplicating Divine guidance and Divine instruction, he says, "On thee do I wait all the day." And a third time, referring to the might and multitude of his enemies and supplicating deliverance, he pleads his own relationship to God, using the same words, "for I wait on thee," and adding, "Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles." Similarly in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, in reference to the spread of the true religion, not only over the broad continents and countries of earth, but throughout those multitudinous and distant islands that rise in beauty and rest in sunshine amid the wild waves of ocean that roll and rage around them, we read, "He shall set judgment in the earth," and "The isles shall wait for his law."

2. Reasons for and motives to waiting on God . There is good reason for waiting on God. God is the God of providence, and therefore all wait upon him. "The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season; thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the wants of every living thing." He is the Author of every good gift and of every perfect boon, ruling the changing year, making everything beautiful in its season, causing the sun to rise and the shower to fall, and by that gentle shower and genial sunshine preserving to our use the kindly fruits of the earth; all his people acknowledge his goodness and wait upon his bounty. "Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles," asks Jeremiah, "that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? Art thou not he, O Lord our God? therefore we will wait upon thee, for thou hast made all these things." He is the God of grace and salvation especially, and therefore we wait upon him; thus Israel says, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord;" and in like manner the good old Simeon, who is called a just and devout man, is represented as" waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him." He is the God of mercy, in him compassions flow; and therefore it is our privilege as well as our duty to wait upon him, and say in the language of ancient piety, "And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee; deliver me from all my transgressions, make me not the reproach of the foolish."

3. Manner of waiting on God and exhortation to the duty . Wait on the Lord in faith, for without faith it is impossible to please him, and whatever is not of faith is sin. Wait on the Lord in prayer; "In all things by prayer and supplication … let your requests be made known unto God," for he heareth prayer, and unto him shall all flesh come. Wait on the Lord in patience, and let patience have its perfect work; "for patience worketh experience and, experience hope." Wait on the Lord with resignation; say in your heart as you pray with your lips, "Thy will, O God, be done; It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good." Wait on him in the ordinances which he has appointed, reverencing his sanctuary, keeping holy his day of rest, observing those seasons of communion, which are green spots in the desert, where the good Shepherd feeds his flock, making them to lie down in green pastures, leading them by still waters, and causing them to rest at noon. Wait on him by fulfilling the vows of God, which are upon you, paying those vows in spite of the world, and in sight of God's people all. Wait on the Lord in your family, and wherever you have a house let God have an altar; and let the incense of prayer and praise regularly ascend from that altar to the God and Father of all the families of the earth. Wait on him in closet prayer, entering thy chamber, shutting to the door, praying to your Father who heareth in secret, and who will reward you openly. Wait on the Lord, not occasionally merely, but continually; not in certain spasmodic efforts, but habitually; not after long intervals, but at all times. Wait on the Lord, and you will thereby renew your strength. There were giants in the earth in days of old. A terrible struggle once took place, as we read in classic story, between two lusty giants. Prodigious they were in strength, fearful in prowess; they struggled hard and wrestled long, but one of them, every time he touched the earth, renewed thereby his strength and prevailed over his antagonist. We need not stop to inquire whether the story be a fiction or a fact; it matters not, as it serves equally well the purposes of illustration. Scripture records a fact which that fiction illustrates. The giant renewed, his strength every time he touched the earth; the believer renews his strength, not by touching earth or groveling among the things thereof, but by laying hold of the throne of grace in heaven and waiting on the Lord.

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