O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God… – Hosea 14:1
This is a very instructive call; for it tells the sinner exactly what he has to do. Return: that is, reverse your course. The course you have taken is the opposite of that which you ought to have taken; therefore, come back. You have gone from God; come back to God. You have been prayerless; begin to pray! You have been hardened; yield to the Word. You have been full of cavils; believe even as a little child. Bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and not the fruits of obstinate persistence in evil. To many there could be no better direction in spiritual morals than this word, “Return.” Do what you have not done: leave undone what you have been doing. Reverse the original. Take the other track! “Return!” is but a single word, but that word is full of meaning. There is to be a change, a total change, a coming back to God.
The word is also instructive, because it says, Return unto the Lord.” Do not only look to God but return to Him. Arise, and go unto your Father. Do not barely think about it but do it. Do not return part of the way to this and to that good custom and salutary habit; but come right back to the Lord, and rest not till you feel that you are in His arms. It is of no use for the prodigal to say, “I will arise,” unless he adds, “and go to my father.” It is of no use his quitting one far-off country for another; but it must be said of him, “And he arose and came to his father.” The best direction we can give to many a sinner is: reverse your course of life and let your reversed course of life lead you to God Himself. How surely will he need the abounding grace of God for such a work as this! ~ C.H. Spurgeon