Confession

Jon Brown

READ : Hosea 5

. . . until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face . . . (v. 15)

I once had someone who was tired of our weekly prayer of confession—that moment in the service where we acknowledge before God that not all is right in our lives—say to me, “People don’t want to come to church to be reminded of how bad they are; it’s such a downer!” I respectfully offered a contrary opinion, partly on the basis of Hosea’s prophecy.

The wrath Hosea proclaims against Israel for their disloyalty to God shows no signs of slowing. Words like guilt, desolation, and punishment pound down like an oak gavel throughout chapter five. Then comes this in verse 15: “until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face.” Our ever-gracious God intends for us to confess our sins, to acknowledge our guilt, and turn back to him and his restorative purposes for us.

I don’t know what your perception of a Sunday prayer of confession is. I can assure you, though, it is not meant merely to remind us of how bad we are or to be a downer. It is to help us do what God tells us to—acknowledge our guilt and seek his face. Confession is what God is waiting for.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us, sinners. Amen.