"Come And Let Us Return Unto The Lord..."
By Hyman J. Appelman
"Come, and let us return unto the Lord for He hath torn, and He will heal us: He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth " (Hosea 6:1-3).
America began in prayer, on bended knee, before the open Bible. America will never return to peace and prosperity until she comes to the altar of God in holy repentance.
America was not built on its natural resources or on its vast land area or on its great manpower. It was founded, favored and fed by God.
Only a God-sent, Heaven-directed, Holy Spirit-empowered, Christ-exalting and sinner-saving revival will bring us out of the pit and miry clay into which our nation (or any nation) has fallen!
But before such a nation-saving spiritual awakening can come, there is a work to be done, a word to be heeded, a way to be followed.
There are two things God wants us to do. We must "return unto the Lord." We must "follow on to know the Lord."
Return unto the Lord
"Let us return unto the Lord" in repentance. In the secrecy of our prayer closets, in the publicity of our church services, let us retrace our steps back to God and to the Saviour. Regardless of cost or consequence, regardless of pain or penalty, let us beseech God to strip us of every idol, no matter how near or dear to our hearts it may be.
"Let us return unto the Lord" in prayer. How long has it been since there has been an all-night prayer meeting in your church, or even an after-service prayer meeting? Does the evangelist or the pastor have to be watchful not to keep you too late in the prayer meetings lest you will not come back? God have mercy on our prayerless hearts and our prayerless churches!
We must then follow on in devoted, surrendered and sacrificial obedience. It is not enough to sing, "Where He leads me, I will follow." When the heart, the soul, the mind, the hands and the feet all mean what the lips say, the fire will fall.
"Come and let us return unto the Lord...He will heal us."
Three things God promises to do for us in this great answer to repentance, prayer and perseverance.
First, He will heal us, and He will bind us up.
The disease of sin is claiming the lives of millions. When the purifying flame of revival burns, when the balm of Gilead is applied to sin-sick sinners God will heal our land.
We need healing economically, politically, nationally, internationally. Where the panaceas, the quackeries, the misguided diagnoses of reformers, speculators, so-called scientists, statesmen and diplomats have but sponsored the ravages of Satan, the power of God will overcome Satan, and destroy his evil power.
"Come and let us return unto the Lord...He will revive us."
Second, He will revive us! Our hearts are cold, our souls are timid, our minds are cluttered with fears and burdens of this world. We need reviving! We need our personal piety, our prayer lives, our preaching, our love for the souls of men revived!
Third, He will raise us up and we shall live in His sight. Let us return unto the Lord. Let the fires of apostolic intensity begin to burn, and we shall be raised up – renewed and endued with power to rise up and bless the world.
"Come, and let us return unto the Lord...and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth."
Rain, in Scripture, means revival, and Scripture says that He will come unto us as the vital rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth (literal rendering).
We need spiritual rain! Our lives are as parched ground, clodded, cracked, cruel, after months of deadly spiritual drought.
We need the showers that come from the Presence of the Lord!
Mercy drops have fallen, but for the downpours we plead – in our own church and our own community – for the lack of which the church of God and the work of God is withering and dying!
Pentecost did not exhaust God's treasuries of rain. The Holy Spirit, sent down by the enthroned Son of God on the day of Pentecost, is standing at the door of every preacher, of every evangelist, pastor, deacon, Sunday-school teacher, and every born-again Christian – waiting for us to open our hearts to Him that He might fill and flood us with the outpouring of the former and the latter rain of His great grace and glory.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, great things will come to pass if we shall but walk in the ways of the Lord.
"Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us...He will revive us...He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
"Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth " (Hosea 6:1-3).