Hos 2: "Having commenced his prophecy in the days of Jeroboam
when Israel was at the peak of its power, Hosea lived to see its rapid decline.
After seeing briefly the glorious future for Jezreel we are now brought up very
smartly to the problems and sins, of Israel in Hosea's day. Hos 1 showed clearly
that they were not now the people of Yahweh (Hos 1:9) The prophet is instructed
to show that a marriage such as this would not be valid between Yahweh and
Israel (v 2). As ever, Yahweh -- being merciful -- was prepared should the
Israel-Wife repent of her adultery. So the continuing adultery of the unfaithful
wife is reported in vv 1-13 -- the urgency of this matter is clearly seen in v 2
where the word 'plead' is used twice (the idea behind the word is 'to grapple
with'). In vv 14-23 there is reference to the second Exodus, as again the
merciful hand of Yahweh is extended to the people of Israel. If they accept this
hand then the way is opened that His covenant with the fathers of old could be
fulfilled. The prophecy as recorded by Hosea would now be patterned after the
happenings of the first Exodus under the hand of Moses. The obvious difference
is that it is the whole of the power of the Gentiles which in this prophecy
replaces the Egypt of old" (Graham Harding).
"Hos 2 repeats the same theme, with different figures and
details, ending with the same assurance and promise. While Hos 1 was based
mainly on Hosea's children and their names, Hos 2, under the allegory of his
unfaithful wife, is a representation of God's infinite patience and love and
kindness toward Israel, and their repeated unfaithfulness and corruption. The
lesson is for us, for we continually fail and are so often unfaithful to the
beautiful character of godliness" (GVG).
"The first three chapters of this prophecy are in the nature
of a prologue in which Hosea's personal experiences in his domestic relations
provide, as a dramatic symbolism, the outline of his message. They record the
story of Hosea's unfaithful wife and her three children: typical of the ecclesia
in the days of Jeroboam, the son of Joash. Gomer's perfidy went beyond adultery,
which can be illicit love that is motivated by a genuine affection for the
object of it, such as in the case of David and Bathsheba. But harlotry is the
setting of oneself for material gain, and Gomer (as representing Israel) was
guilty of that. So also is the symbolic Jezebel found in the midst of the first
century ecclesia (Rev 2:20). A person who neglects the Truth for material gain
is guilty of harlotry and not merely adultery (friendship with the world). Hos 2
[beginning with v 2] outlines the estrangement. It records: (1) Pleading with
Gomer: vv 2-5. (2) Discipline forces Gomer to repent: vv 6-13. (3) Application
of the circumstances: Yahweh's tenderness for Israel: vv 14-22. Thus Hosea
represented the Spirit of Yahweh, whose national wife was so unfaithful in her
refusal to uphold His righteousness and purity. Hosea was required of Yahweh to
fulfil this parable in life, to demonstrate to the nation their true status in
the divine sight" (GEM).
I WILL STRIP HER NAKED: The punishment of an adulterer:
to be stripped naked, and stoned (Eze 16:37-40).
DESERT... PARCHED LAND: The curses of Lev 26; Deu
MY LOVERS, WHO GIVE ME MY FOOD AND MY WATER...: She
attributes her prosperity to her own efforts, and to her lovers among the aliens
(cp Jer 44:17,18).
I WILL BLOCK HER PATH WITH THORNBUSHES: Israel became
blocked, or hedged in, by the products of her own sins. Seeing and experiencing
the results of our sins should cause us to turn back to God, and this was the
result God hoped to achieve with Israel. Cp the thorn in the flesh: 2Co
I WILL GO BACK... FOR THAN I WAS BETTER OFF THAN NOW:
This was the attitude of the prodigal son: Luk 15:17,18.
SHE HAS NOT ACKNOWLEDGED THAT I WAS THE ONE WHO GAVE HER
THE GRAIN, THE NEW WINE AND OIL...: "She attributed her prosperity to her
own efforts, and her intimacies with foreigners. All that she had, all that she
could ever have, even her life itself, and her every breath, was of the love and
mercy of God -- but she did not know" (GVG).
THE SILVER AND GOLD: Which were used to overlay her
idols and images: Jer 10:4; Isa 40:19.
I WILL STOP ALL HER CELEBRATIONS: Isa 1:13; Jer 7:34;
16:9; Eze 26:13.
BUT ME SHE FORGOT: "Have you ever had a day or a week
slip by when life's pressures and pleasures seem to fill the whole of your life
from morning till night, only to discover -- when you take stock of your day --
that you had not read your Bible, prayed or walked with God at all? It may be
that we have 'idols' that take our time -- things that are more important than
God. It may be that nothing is more important but everything is more urgent.
With God there are no deadlines, yet every day we face deadlines in our busy
schedules -- deadlines that must be met. But sometimes these deadlines squeeze
God out of the picture and He is forgotten.
"Even though God must be the most important thing in our
lives, He is often the easiest to forget because He has given us the
responsibility of ordering our lives, instead of ordering them for us.
"So let us resolve no longer to be like Israel who forgot God,
but instead let us set times, priorities and deadlines that will help us to
remember our God, to love Him and to live for Him" (RP).
I WILL LEAD HER INTO THE DESERT AND SPEAK TENDERLY TO
HER: Through the wilderness and into the promised land: a second
AND SPEAK TENDERLY TO HER: God speaks to each of us,
individually and often in solitude, as in the closet of prayer (Mat 6:6). Cp
Moses, Elijah, and John the Baptist.
VALLEY OF ACHOR: The valley of Achor was the place
where Achan was buried after being stoned for his sin (Josh 7:24,25). Hosea
prophesies that, instead of being a place of shame, this valley would become a
place of "hope" -- leading, perhaps, to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. Cp idea:
"We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God" (Acts
THERE SHE WILL SING: Moses' song of victory (Exo 15;
MY HUSBAND... MY MASTER: The significance of this is
lost unless we look at the root meanings of the words. Whilst 'Baali' is Master,
'Ishi' is husband -- thus signifying that the covenant that was to be
established would be based on a very different relationship -- that of love, as
in the marriage covenant. As well as this, of course, Baali was the word they
applied to their idols, from whom they could never expect an 'Ishi'
relationship. "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know
his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I
learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15).
THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD: In the Kingdom, tamed (Isa
11:6-9). The Son of man will be given dominion over all creation (Gen 1:28; Psa
Vv 21,22: A promise of renewed fertility for the Land. The
full cycle of agriculture is given in reverse: the grain calls to the earth, and
the earth calls to the skies, and the skies call to God. And He hears. God
answers, and then -- in reverse -- the heavens, then the earth, and then the
seed all listen to "Jezreel". "God made it grow" (1Co 3:6,8).
JEZREEL: Sig "the seed of God" -- with ref to Christ,
the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). Jesus, also the sower of the word (Mat 13:18;