Here we have the prophet's appeal in consequence of the judgment threatened. It was first a message calling the people to return to Jehovah. It was based on the certainty of divine pity; and a promise of certain prosperity if the people did return to Him.
However, it is impossible to read this message without discovering its Messianic values, for all that the prophet declared finds its fulfilment in the Christ by way of His First and Second Advents. There are two appeals: the first, "Come, and let us return"; the second, "Let us know, let us follow on to know." The argument for the &st is the suffering of Another. "He hath tom, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He wilI bind us up." Resurrection, "After two days will He revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him." The argument for the second suggests the things that follow suffering and resurrection, which may be stated thus: Ascension, "His going forth is sure as the morning"; Pentecost, "He shall come unto us as the rain"; the Second Advent, "As the latter rain that watereth the earth."
The second cycle of the prophecy deals with pollution and its punishment. The prophet first stated the case as between Jehovah and His people. The divine attitude was declared to be perplexity. In the presence of the shallowness of their goodness, which was like the morning cloud, or early dew, Jehovah exclaimed, "What shall I do?" He had adopted different methods for their welfare, hewing them by the prophets, slaying them by words, proceeding against them in judgment. What He desired to produce in them as the character of mercy was knowledge of Himself rather than their burnt offerings.
The response to this attitude had been persistent transgression and treachery, and the proofs were to be found in Gilead and Shechem, both of which cities were, in all probability, cities of refuge. The former had been polluted, and the latter filled with lewdness, and even the priests were guilty of murder. Israel had committed the horrible sin of whoredom with Egypt. From Judah also would come a harvest in the day of restoration.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25