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Hosea 2 (Israel)

Hosea has a wife and three kids that all tell the tales of an Israel who has forsaken God and God has disowned, while still giving His longsuffering hope for the future.



Verses 1 and 2 call out to individual Israelites to content with Israel, at large, with the fact that God has "divorced" her because of her harlotry.

MacArthur describes this as a court scene in which God is demanding that the children bring charges against their mother.

Verses 3 and 4 go on to [point out that there are fates worse than divorce for Israel. The Lord makes it clear that he will strip her naked and leave her in the wilderness or desert to thirst, with no compassion, even on her children.

In verse 5 we finally hear from Gomer (or Israel) as to why she plays the harlot. She's chasing after lovers who give her bread, water, wool, flax, and oil. In her mind she's doing what she's doing for food, water, clothes, and other necessities. Israel made agreements with foreign governments because she thought she had to to survive. A sin that went back as far as David and Solomon. Taking more than one wife (many more) because it was necessary for foreign relations. And the people of the nation had the same mindset that went back even further, to Egypt...where they had "meat in their pots" and were "safe".

How convicting.

I'm in the middle of a journey right now in which there is a petulant teenager inside me who could easily be tempted by this type of thinking. "How can I get my needs met?"

As with all temptations of the enemy, it can easily be countered by the Word, if you choose to go to the Word and stand on His promises.

Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2, NASB

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Alas, Gomer and Israel did not choose this path of faith and belief, so the Lord promises to "hedge up her way with thorns", and "build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths."


Like the original sin from Eve, Gomer and Israel became convinced that there was more for them in the world than in following God's way. And don't kid yourself, we all fall for that deception. We want what we want. And we assume that if we want it, it must be good for us. But like the strict boss in the parable of the talents, if we don't even attempt to use what has been given by Him, we might even lose that, let alone whatever it was the world was promising.

Verse 7 shows Gomer learning this lesson. She keeps pursuing her lovers, but she cannot grab hold of them, and like the prodigal son realizes that going home is the answer, because, " was better for me then than now."

Verse 8 gets to the heart of the matter.

For she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.

Hosea 2:8

How insulting. To provide everything and yet have her chase after "her needs" elsewhere, even giving to her lover the provision already given to her.

It's a wonder we aren't all ashes from the lightening strikes. But God is so much more loving, faithful, forgiving, patient, and loving again than we are capable of being.

In verse 9 He takes back all of the things she sought in her lovers that had already been given to her by her husband- grain, wine, wool, flax, and her coverings.

No one can rescue her. (verse 10)

Then He starts taking away the things she didn't even know that He could- "her gaiety, her feasts, her new moons and sabbaths, and festival assemblies.

Then He commits to taking away even the vines and trees from which the provision comes, turning it back to wilderness overrun by beasts.

Finally in verse 13 calling it what it is, punishment for the days of the Baals, with her sacrifices, harlot adornment, and forsaking of the Lord.

In Wiersbe's commentary, Be Amazed, he points out that adultery was punishable by death, and most certainly a husband could legally abandon his wife. But God chose neither. He brought judgment and separation; but not death or abandonment.


But God.

So many terrible things happen in the world. Some because we chose against wisdom and some because the Lord has not returned and the world is fallen. throughout the Bible, there is one phrase that brings hope in all of this darkness.

But God.

Gomer and Israel worked their way into a very dark place over a long period of time. And finally God (and Hosea) were done with them. The consequences were severe. But severe designed to bring them to the end of themselves and back to the actual provision they were chasing.

Starting in verse 14, we see this plan to bring Gomer and Israel back to their created selves. God promises to allure her, bring her to the wilderness, and speak kindly to her. There she will receive vineyards and more importantly, hope. Which always leads to singing and worship.

In verse 16 she changes the name she calls the Lord, showing her true knowledge of the relationship, from calling Him "baali", which means "owner", to calling Him "Ishi", which means "My Husband".

He promises to remove the name of the baals from her mouth, that she mentions them no more. He also describes the covenant He will make with all of the other creatures on the earth. He'll remove war and weapons of war from the earth. All creatures will be able to lie down in safety.

For verse 17, MacArthur points out that what the Mosaic law could not do, God would accomplish through the regenerative heart in the New Covenant! I love that!

Verse 18 describes the future when we will once again be perfectly subject to Him and the creation will once again be subject to us.

In verse 19 He promises to betroth her to Him forever, in righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, and compassion.

And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.

Hosea 2:20

When we understand the difference between "owner" and "husband", when we really know who the Lord is...we will be able to be faithful. Like Jesus, we will be incorruptible. Such amazing grace.

Verse 21-23 describe this future time of restoration:

  • The Lord will respond to the heavens
  • The heavens will respond the earth
  • The earth will respond to the grain and wine and oil
  • And all of them will respond to Jezreel (where Jesus will return and begin His millennial reign)
  • the land will be fertile by God's hand
  • He will have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion (which we see right now. Most of the world against Israel, but protected from above by the hand of God.)

And Hallelujah...but God...we even find ourselves in this future:

And I will say to those who are not My people, 'You are my people!' and they will say, 'Thou art my God!'

Hosea 2:23b

Look at those exclamation points.

You don't see a lot of those in scripture, but there are two in this half of a verse...

He exclaims that we are His. And we exclaim that He is our God.

Hope and relief and joy wash over me just thinking about it.

We were lost. We were disloyal. We were repugnant. But God. And there is hope for all of our future. Amen.

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