The last post in Hosea was a short fly over of the whole chapter. This time I’m attempting to go a little further in depth.
When we look at Hosea chapter 2 we see immediately two distinct sections. One: the warnings of wrath. Two: a promise of renewed relationship. There is an interesting jump from one to the other intended to shock the reader, I’m sure. So, we will treat the two independently first and them bring them together for a glorious finish!
Section One is verses 1-13. It begins with An instruction seemingly pointed at Jezreel, Hosea’s oldest, instructing him to tell something to his brother and sister. But the thing that almost immediately stands out is that he seems to get their names wrong. He calls the “you are my people”, and “you have received mercy”. Very clearly not the names of his younger two kids. Here we get our first clue that he is beginning this as a plea for regeneration and healing of that that has been broken. Then he begins this sometimes graphic plea to his wife who is horribly unfaithful.
Now we can hear his heart breaking. We can hear his just anger. And then the tempo changes slightly. He starts talking about bread and oil, making her like a wilderness, the wine in it’s season. And here we realize, we are not only hearing the lament of a broken hearted man for his wretched wife, but the plea of a broken hearted God who longs for communion with His people. The poetry of Hosea’s plea is strikingly beautiful.
We feel for him, we weep with him, and we start to get a little knot in our throats when we feel the weight of our sin against a Holy God. And then, this knot turns into a little bit of panic. With the words “I will punish her” our fate is sealed. And rightly so! How can we say it is unjust when we have felt a measure of the suffering of Hosea? The pain of our relational God. When we remember that our sin is the same as Gomer’s unfaithfulness. And here is where we get to section 2.
Section 2 is verses 14-23. This chunk of verses begins with the word therefore. When we see a therefore we know it is directly related to what came just before it. So what do we expect to read next? What would I expect to read next? Damnation, quite honestly! When Gomer gets what she deserves and her desolate husband leaves her to her devices. When we get our death sentence and head for hell. But this is not what we next read.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. (ESV)
He will bring her back to himself! He will allure her. God will speak tenderly to us!! This is definitely something to “behold”! As we will look into chapter 3 to find later, he does this through a means of redemption to bring her out from this life. But before he even tells us his he will accomplish this thing God promises to love us eternally. He will never break His covenant to us even though we break ours with Him. Even though Gomer should have been stoned for what she was doing, Hosea pleads with her and takes her back! I don’t know if I could do that. Yet, this is a picture of just what things are possible through Christ. Our eternal redemption and healing for our lives now. Even though most of Hosea’s life was suffering, it was well with his soul. He could have peace for all these things in the goodness of God.
“In that day” He will make all things right. When is that day? The day Gomer came home to Hosea. The day Israel returned to the land. The day Jesus finished forever what we couldn’t do for ourselves. The day He rose triumphant from the dead. The day He will return riding on the clouds and bring us home to be with Him in the place He has prepared for us forever. There are many answers that people have come up with, but the bottom line is that it’s the day that God accomplishes all that He wants to accomplish to heal His land and bring His people back to Himself! And his people shall say “you are my God!”
Now what can we do in response to this?
We can forgive when people don’t deserve forgiveness.
We can allow the hurts that well up within us for years and change the way we think, to finally heal.
We can embrace the forgiveness of God and those that have taken our apologies and forgive ourselves.
We can glory in the goodness of God that He would save a terrible person like each of us!!
Thank You Lord Jesus!
I know a man who justified leaving his distant wife with Jer. 3:8: “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.” I wish he’d read this passage, too. God is merciful.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hosea brings into stark realism Jesus’ teaching on divorce. Also, a unifying of old and new testaments. That’s so sad. Thanks for sharing.
LikeLiked by 1 person