OSEA 5:15 encapsulates the recipe for obtaining God's mercy, grace and forgiveness. We must acknowledge our offenses and seek God's face. To expect God's blessings without these two ingredients is truly ludicrous. But in fact, many illustrations could be offered demonstrating something that makes even less sense: that is, trying only one of the two parts of this equation. If a man admits that he is in error, but doesn't follow that up with a sincere advance toward God, then what has he accomplished? Nothing (vs. 13)! We do not have the power within ourselves to improve our own moral condition. And, even if we did and could, since our purpose in life is to bring pleasure to God's heart, and since that can't be accomplished apart from genuine dependence upon Him, then repentance without faith is a strange and impotent religion-of-self-improvement. On the other hand, if a man desires forgiveness and peace through a spiritual journey toward God, yet that same man continues in sin without regret, remorse or humility, then what salvation can he find? (vs. 6)?
Israel was full of revolt (vs. 2). God was ready with rebuke. What He wanted to produce in them was repentance and reverence, but they refused (vs. 4). He wanted them to acknowledge their offense(s) and seek His face. What would it take to get their attention? Affliction (vs. 15)! Trouble! God knows how to abase the proud (Daniel 4:37). It is unpopular to speak or write about God's vengeance and wrath these days, but no matter, it's still a reality (vs. 10-12, 14 & 15). God's wrath is an effective tool.