GO, SHOW YOUR LOVE TO YOUR WIFE AGAIN: "We are brought
back to the current relationship of both husbands to their wives, and as far as
Hosea is concerned the outcome is a happy one. The first verse reveals the
profound spirit of love, pity and forgiveness that is so characteristic of God.
It made Him send the prophet to do what He Himself had done throughout history:
to love and to seek the sinner in order to restore her to favour. It was not an
easy task for Hosea, even though it may have been in his heart, because Gomer
had destroyed his happiness and ruined his marriage. Nevertheless he obeyed the
divine command... There is a consistent divine logic behind this command: I love
the sinner, therefore you must love your wife who has sinned; I pity the
wayward, hence you must pity your wife who has betrayed you; I forgive the
disobedient, so you must forgive your wife who disobeyed the marriage covenant;
I am compassionate to the weak, thus you must show compassion to the wife who
yielded to temptation. This is the divine way of Life" (JM, Xd 117:6).
THE LORD SAID TO ME, "GO, SHOW YOUR LOVE TO YOUR WIFE
AGAIN...": "Whilst it is easy [and true] to say that Hosea and his
relationship with Gomer is a pattern of God's relationship with wayward Israel
we should not forget the suffering of the prophet in all this.
"Hosea had emotion, needs and feelings. If we could put
ourselves in the place of Hosea and share his feelings about his wife we would
be better able to appreciate the effect that our waywardness has on the
"As a general point, we should not minimise the trauma of
events in the lives of God's servants just because we are able to say they were
types. We have an advantage over them when looking at the record. We know the
end of the matter and we can read the details in a few minutes, but the actions
spoken of can often spread over 50 years or more" (PF).
SACRED RAISIN CAKES: Sacrificial offerings to
FIFTEEN SHEKELS: Only half the price of a slave (Exo
BARLEY: The cheapest of grains.
YOU ARE TO LIVE WITH ME MANY DAYS: A period of
probation: separation and discipline. "After she has lived in your house and
mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be
her husband and she shall be your wife" (Deu 21:13).
SACRED STONES: Heb "massebah" (from rt "standing", as
an upright pillar or idol), representing idolatrous worship, adopted from
Israel's neighbors (cf 2Ki 3:2; 10:26-28; 17:10).
EPHOD: A High Priest garment (Exo 28:6,15) which
contained the Urim and Thummim, a divinely appointed method by which the High
Priest could ask for and receive a divine revelation (see 1Sa 23:9;
IDOL: "Teraphim". Images probably used for divination
(cp Gen 31:19-34).
THE ISRAELITES WILL RETURN: Having forsaken their
idols: Zech 9:9; 10:10-12; 12:6-10; 13:6-9; Eze 37:21-28.
DAVID THEIR KING: The restored throne of David: 2Sa
7:12-16; Psa 89:3,4,19; Luk 1:32,33.