Hosea Chapter Two

 

Read Hosea 2:1-5 – The Idolatry of Israel

 

v.1-2Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 2Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;”

 

            The two names in verse one of this passage seem to be derivatives of the names of the daughter, Lo-ruhamah and son Lo-Ammi.  The theme of this book is continued in these verses as God compares the idolatry of Israel to the adultery of an unfaithful wife.  She has abandoned her spiritual marriage covenant with God and gone after strange gods.  Ezekiel calls for her judgment in his prophecy as well and places her sin of adultery along side the sin of murder or the shedding of blood:

 

Ezekiel 23:45And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.”

 

            The sons and daughters of Israel are instructed to plead with their mother to cease her unfaithfulness, to end her spiritual adultery.  God is disowning Israel, she is no longer his wife; he is no longer her husband, the spiritual marriage covenant has been broken beyond recovery.  We find a similar text in:

 

Isaiah 50:1Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.”

 

But God in his longsuffering is continuing to wait for her to repent, asking her children to plead with her to end her sin and return to him.

 

v.3Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.”

 

            God is asking the children of Israel to plead with her to repent because while his patience continues for the moment; it will come to an end.  There will come a day when God will bring punishment upon Israel, punishment of all sorts as we have studied in the books of Joel and Amos.  Punishment that here the prophet speaks of as drought and famine much the same as Jeremiah to Judah.

 

Jeremiah 14:3And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.”

 

v.4-5And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. 5For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”

 

            God here states plainly that he will have no mercy on the children of Israel because they are the result of harlotry; their spiritual birth came as a result of spiritual adultery.  They bear the bastard’s stigma, a stigma that no longer exists in this country today because of the loose morals of so many people.

 

Jeremiah 13:14-15And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.  Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.”

 

            Israel has turned from her spiritual husband, God, to the gods of the Canaanites seeking her sustenance from her lovers.  She looks to them for her bread, water, clothing and those things required to sustain life.  Israel is like Judah and the city of Jerusalem to whom Isaiah writes:

 

Isaiah 1:21How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.”

 

But God is still her provider isn’t he?  God is still her provider even though she is giving credit to her idol gods; worshipping and thanking them for her well being rather than the God of heaven.

 

Read Hosea 2:6-13 – God’s Judgment

 

v.6Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”

 

            God will build up a hedge around Israel, a wall to keep her under control.  She will be like Job who complained that there was no way out of his dilemma of pain, suffering and sorrow.

 

Job 19:8  8He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.”

 

She will not be able to find her way because she will not be able to find her paths,  similar situation will be found with Judah in due time.  The same situation exists today as younger generations are deluded, lead away and will not be able to ind the old paths of God’s word.

 

Jeremiah 18:15Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;”

 

The hedge would be the hedge or wall of physical captivity; the northern kingdom of Israel never to return, the southern kingdom of Judah to be restored as the remnant required to fulfill God’s promises of a messiah.

 

v.7And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.”

 

            When she is punished, when Israel is in distress she will call out and plead with her pagan gods.  She will seek solace from them but will not find it.   She will make covenants with pagan nations but it will do them no good.

 

II Chronicles 28:20  And Til-gath-pil-ne-ser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.”

 

II Chronicles 28:22-23And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. 23For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.”

 

This punishment will continue until the remnant of Israel that God preserves decides to return to her first husband, ends her spiritual adultery and returns to God.  When we read the histories of Ezra and Nehemiah and understand the condition of Israel during the time of Christ we can see that the remnant that was returned to Judah indeed did return to God, worshipping and living as the Mosaic Law required.

 

v.88For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.”

 

            Isaiah, at the very beginning of his prophecy, makes much the same charge against Judah.

 

Isaiah 1:2-32Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.?

 

            Even dumb animals know who feeds them.  Israel not only gave no consideration to the source of her blessings; she took those blessings and gave and used them to worship the idol god Baal instead of the God of heaven.  Ezekiel, who preached and prophesied to captive Judah in Chaldea, reminds them of some of the reasons they are captive:

 

Ezekiel 16:17-19Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, 18And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them. 19My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.”

 

v.9-10Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. 10And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.”

 

            God will take away all of Israel’s blessings, the corn, the wine that sustained them, the flax and wool she He gave her to make her clothing and all of her other material prosperity.  Israel is like so many who have to hit bottom before they can be persuaded to repent, like the prodigal son in the parable of Jesus:

 

Luke 15:14-16And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”

 

Israel will have to hit bottom as well and one of the things that God promises to bring them down to that level is that:

 

Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.” Ezekiel 16:37

 

v.11  I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.”

 

            Hosea is giving the same message to Israel that later was given also to Judah; repent and turn back to God before he takes all of these things away from her.

 

Jeremiah 7:34Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.”

 

Just as the prophet Amos told Israel in his prophecy, God is tired of Israel’s false worship, fed up with their unfaithfulness.  Her ministrations to Him are repugnant, much the same as those would be to a faithful husband by an unfaithful and adulterous wife.

 

Isaiah 1:13-14 “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”

 

v.12And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.”

 

            All of those things that Israel claims to have received from her false gods, those things she views as having been received from her false lovers, God will destroy.  Because she is giving credit to Baal for providing her blessings and giving her worship to Baal, God will destroy those blessings that he has given her.  In a psalm of Asaph the question is asked:

 

“WHY HAST THOU then BROKEN DOWN HER HEDGES, SO THAT ALL THEY WHICH PASS BY THE WAY TO PLUCK HER?  THE BOAR OUT OF THE WOOD DOTH WASTE IT, AND THE WILD BEAST OF THE FIELD DOTH DEVOUR IT.”  Psalms 80:12-13

 

v.13And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.”

 

            God will reckon with Israel for all of the days that she has worshipped Baal.  We find Baal being worshipped by Israel even back in the very early days of the judges.

 

Judges 2:11-13And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 12And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. 13And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.”

 

When the judge Gideon was raised up by God to bring Israel out of her distress the first thing that had to be done was to tear down the altar of Baal and cut down the grove that surrounded it.

 

Judges 6:25And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:”

 

God describes Israel’s worship of the god Baal as that of a harlot preparing herself to conduct her business, putting on her jewels, dressing herself up, doing her hair and then sending for her customers to come.  We find the same analogy in the prophesy of Ezekiel:

 

Ezekiel 23:40And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,”

 

But judgment is coming, Israel will be brought down and the same is true of those who reject God and the word of God today.

 

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” Romans 1:18

Read Hosea 2:14-23 God’s Promise of Reconciliation

 

v.14-15Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

 

            Now the prophet, at God’s direction, proposes a reconciliation; a period of reflection and repentance.  Following the concept of dealing with an unfaithful wife, God would be working to woo her back into his good graces, turn her from her wicked ways and give her the opportunity to return to her rightful place in his family.  He would provide her protection as when she escaped from Egypt:

 

Exodus 15:1Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

 

She could return to the status that she enjoyed when God had purged them of those who sinned at the conquest of Jericho:

 

Joshua 7:26And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”

 

They needed to remember the joy and fellowship with God that Israel enjoyed when as a nation she was young, a youth, at the time that they were espoused to God spiritually and became his people.  He wanted them to regain the relationship they enjoyed as we might today by renewing our wedding vows at an appropriate milestone in our marriage relationship.

 

Jeremiah 2:2Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.”

 

This reconciliation, this renewing of their relationship with God would come at a time much later in their history.  The prophet here is referring to the coming of Christ as we will see a little further along.

 

v.16-1716And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. 17For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.”

 

            “THOU SHALT CALL ME ISHI”; Ishi, also rendered Ishvi, Ishuai, Ishui, Isui and Jesui or Jesus.  That day refers to the coming of Jesus Christ:

 

4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

 

Hebrews 2:9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

 

This reconciliation, the removal of all past sins through the blood of Jesus Christ would provide a wife for the Son of God:

 

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

 

The idol worship would be ended for all time.  The kingdom of God would be established, the covenant made with Abraham would be fulfilled in the creation of the church, the house of God.

 

v.18And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

 

            God would make a new covenant with mankind, a covenant not made with hands, a covenant made in heaven, a spiritual covenant, for a spiritual house, and a spiritual kingdom.

 

Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”

 

Though men would try to destroy her though persecution and trouble, and death would be the lot of many of her people this kingdom would never end, would never diminish.  Just as Daniel prophesied:

 

Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

 

v.19And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.”

 

            Continuing the analogy of physical Israel as an unfaithful wife, a harlot the description of the new relationship between God and mankind would be a permanent betrothal or marriage.  A marriage that would last “FOREVER”, a marriage founded and grounded in “RIGHTEOUSNESS, JUDGMENT, LOVINGKINDNESS AND MERCIES”; a description of the church that is echoed in the inspired writings of the Apostle Paul.

 

Romans 7:4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

 

Ephesians 5:23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

 

v.20 “I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”

 

            This marriage will be grounded in “FAITHFULNESS”; the Apostle Paul again records at the direction of the Holy Spirit:

 

I Thessalonians 5:24Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”

 

Jesus said in his prayer to God that the proper time had arrived:

 

John 17:1-3 “…Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

 

And we shall know the Lord.  The types and shadows of the old covenant will be opened in a new revelation of the will of God.  That portion of the will of God that we have today that is called the “New Testament”.  The fulfillment of the seed promise, the removal of the power of sin and death, all these things will become available to mankind for their common knowledge so that we may know and understand the mind of God.  There will be no more secrets between God and mankind just as there should be no secrets between two that have been made one in marriage.  Mankind now has the opportunity to not only know God but to know his relationship with God:

 

I John 1:1-3My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”

 

v.21-23And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.”

 

            Included in this spiritual bride of the Son of God, this new kingdom under God’s new covenant will be all people of the earth.  God’s chosen people will no longer be just those descended from the patriarchs, no longer just the linage of Jacob renamed Israel but all men.  All men are called as Paul writes to the Ephesian church:

 

Ephesians 2:11-13Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

 

As the Apostle Peter confirmed in his writing to the “STRANGERS SCATTERED THROUGHOUT, PONTUS, GALATIA, CAPPADOCIA, ASIA AND BITHYNIA.” (I Peter 1:1):

 

I Peter 2:9-10But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

 

This calling was confirmed to Peter on the Joppa rooftop; by the subsequent conversion of Cornelius and the giving of these Gentiles a measure of the Holy Spirit, sealing their relationship with God.

 

Acts 11:15-17And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”

 

William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; September 7, 2008