GOD Pursues the Redemption of His Wife
GOD is on a persistent quest to redeem the lost spouse (Israel), and reclaim her to Himself. Through the gift of His Son Jesus He paid the ultimate sacrifice to redeem all who will hear His voice believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved.
“Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead 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; lest 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. And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. For 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.'” Hosea 2:1-5 (KJV)
God calls on Judah and Israel to refer to one another as brethren “Brother” and “Sister”. There is a contending on God’s part, with Israel. God has put away Israel: “She is not My wife” “I am not her Husband!” There is punitive judgment here – for the purpose of punishing and restoration.
If Israel would not quit hers sins then God would “Put them away” in order to show them, that it was He who was providing bountifully for them; not her “lovers” who are the Baals of pagan, godless worship.
“Wife” in the text, as is Gomer is representative of the corporate people [Nation] or land of the North. “Children” are representative of individuals within the nation or land.
There is a strong indication that there was a small group [remnant] within the nation who were not participating as individuals, but said or did nothing about it. Their toleration in essence; was approval for the actions of others while they were selling the nation to godless whoredoms and all kinds of immoralities.
In these verses God pleads with Israel (v. 2); He warns them of judgment (vv. 3-4); and the people obstinately reject God’s plea (v. 5).
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And 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.’ For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” Hosea 2:6-8 (KJV)
We are told by some Scriptures that God puts a “Hedge” about His people keeping them from harm, and from evil. Here the hedge has a different purpose. God says now how He will bring them back to Himself. He will build a hedge of thorns and “wall her in”.
By doing this God accomplishes three things;
- She would no longer be able to find the “Paths” that lead to the shrines and idols of Baal (v. 6);
- In seeking the idols they would not be able to find them (v. 7);
- They would begin to realize that they had it much better when they were worshiping God and Him only.
In God and in God alone they would realize the blessings they had received were from GOD alone (vv. 7-8).
“Therefore 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. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of Mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And 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. And 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.” Hosea 2:9-13 (KJV)
We can see by these things that God is on a relentless pursuit of His wayward “Wife”. He lovers her. Real and true love is harsh with a wayward loved one.
How would God pursue?
- Take away the grain at harvest;
- Take back the wool and the flax (linen);
- He would remove His hand of protection, and put on her a hand of judgment, which no one could deliver her from;
- All celebrations, feast days, would cease; along with laughter and joy;
- He would destroy her vines and fig trees, because she had given praise to the Baals for the fruitfulness of the land.
This judgment was God’s. She had gone after other gods following the paths of pagan cultures clothed in expensive jewels and dress. God says, “She forgot Me”.
This is a sad commentary about God’s people. The very fact that Israel was worshiping Baals shows they had forgotten, and departed from God. Any time any of God’s people begin to look to their wealth, blessings, or pleasures as coming because of their own goodness, or from anything , but God; she has forgotten God.
Has the United States of America depended upon idols? Is the pagan deity Baal still worshiped in the USA? Pleasure, wealth and convenience seems to be the cry of today’s society and culture. The saddest part of that is that many professing Christians have lined up with the world in these things too.
Yet our answer for freedom from sin and this world is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Hear Him, believe Him, repent and be saved.
When evil is in the world, and the world is in the Church; evil is progressing toward its maximum potential, and its end.
More on this chapter next time…
-Tim A. Blankenship