Hosea 2

1 "Say of your brothers, 'My people,' and of your sisters, 'My loved one.'

Israel Punished and Restored
2 "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

3 Otherwise I will strip her naked
and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land,
and slay her with thirst.

4 I will not show my love to her children,
because they are the children of adultery.

5 Their mother has been unfaithful
and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, 'I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water,
my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'

6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.

7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
'I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.'

8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.

9 "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her nakedness.

10 So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.

11 I will stop all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days—all her appointed feasts.

12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.

13 I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,"
declares the LORD.

14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.

15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

16 "In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master.'

17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.

19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.

20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD.

21 "In that day I will respond,"
declares the LORD—
"I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;

22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.

23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.'
I will say to those called 'Not my people,' 'You are my people';
and they will say, 'You are my God.' "

I posted my commentary in the comments section

click the "Hosea 2" title at the top to view both the passage and my comments at the same time.


Daniel said...

At first, God takes Israel (or Izzy) down a few notches, and it appears to be a cleansing. He strips her naked, and removes the adultary from her (and I assume the process will remove it from her heart as well) to the point she will chase lovers and not be able to catch or find them. God will give her thirst, but not love, not even to her children (the byproduct of her lifestyle).

Izzy then figures out "crap, i should be with my husband" without ever realizing her husband's sovreignty. She has so much, but can't realize it's all been a gift from the master, her husband. She uses the word husband here without knowing what it means. She thinks he possessions might be a way to win him back as well, i infer, because God then strips away everything she could not acknowledge Him with.

This course of action from the master exposes her fully naked before all other lovers, and at the same time fully cements her in His hands. Interesting that both happen. The lovers could never reach her again (due to the master), AND they just witnessed her full nakedness. Would they even return after that? - i then realized, it doesn't even matter what kind of love the lovers could offer after seeing her at her most vulnerable, because no place is safer than His hands.

But the master does not stop with her protection, he continues to strip away everything she has, including the fetivals and sabbaths in her life - to a point that seems like misery. (but she is also safe in His hands, this is all the same stanza!) It is the desert. All she has is to be carried in the hands of the master. she doesn't even have an interaction at this point. although, i am reminded of verse 3, when the passage says she is being slayed with thirst.

Daniel said...

at this point, the master begins to allure her from within the desert! and she began singing! that which was once judgement (the anchor) has become a new opportunity to live and to love! and she comes to know the master for who he is. (reminded of Egypt, reminded of her deliverance that was so clearly the actions of God in her life. that character of the Father, still the master)

and by all of this, she can finally come to know Him as her husband. A door of hope. The love in His actions are revealed to her, and He no longer becomes the master of her life, but the lover. The husband.

the power all other lovers once had over her are gone, and they no longer have any sort of power to take her (due to her change of heart). The husband makes a covenant wit the earth to provide, and promises safety, to not just his bride, but all others as well. an abounding love

these are the atributes of their love: righteousness, justice, love, compassion, and faithfulness. Their love will be an everlasting covenant, acknowledging God. (i have much to say about these two verses, but i'll go on)

the earth will abound in everything needed. It will bring forth new wine, a symbol of joy to the jews, and an image Jesus uses in Matt 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, and Luke 5:33-39 - all the same story - where he speaks of new wine vs. old wine skins, and how the old skins cannot hold new wine, lest they burst. New wine, new joy, new love is revolutionary.

(side bar: in these passages, Jesus also mentions "how can you fast when the bridegroom is here", or in my words: how can you ignore the explicite celebration called for in the presence of the Lord? That is not to say the Lord does not lead us into suffering [Psalm 66:10-11] or that the Lord is not with us when we do, but this idea that to not acknowledge the presence of God is foolishness, and that we should save mourning and fasting for when He is gone from your perception.)

and then, by Him, through Him, to Him is attributed everything. all posession and love and victory. Izzy is again His loved one. The people of Israel are again redeemed. They honor and proclaim Him as God.

Daniel said...

here's the deal with all of this.
God knew Izzy would leave Him. He knew that one day they would have a perfect love. So He took her down to nothing, revealed Himself, and established her in His abundent land and love. She grew to love the God who always loved her, and was redeemed.

Firstly, I feel like the free will God has given us allows us to live without acknowledging Him, and when we don't give that credit to God, He has every right to take it from us. He is master.

therefore: every moment we share is a gift from God. and as much as i want all the credit, and the glory of revelling in what i experience, i must attribute them (firmly, here) to the grace of God. i don't want that to just be a fleeting thought. The children of God share a co-inheritance of the gifts of God with each other, directly related to the bridegroom Christ. (Romans 8:17-19)

Second: the desert.
when we are outside of the will of God, when we are adulterous lovers away from our master, the best road to redemption runs through the deserts in our lives.

therefore: if we acknowledge everything we have as a gift from God, the deserts we find ourselves in will often be much kinder than what we see in the passage. When we have been faulty in our relationship to God, the Lord has amazing compassion on us, which is something seen all over the bible. (more on this in a moment)

Third: this story reveals how the Lord shows compassion, and the mindset of God, i feel, is revealed to us in Isaiah 30:18

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

The God of justice does not merely dismiss our faults. Izzy had to be made nothing for her adultery to be truely cleansed from her. She needed to be shown the awesome might of God, and it seems the most powerful place to be rescued is from the bottom as well. (If everything in life never had consequence, who would learn?)

Also, it is the Lord's will for him to show us this compassion. to provie for us, love us, protect us. So once we are justified, we can gain the attributes of a perfect love (Hosea 2:19-20), just as the Lord always intended for our lives, but it also takes time, so we are asked to wait.

therefore: we must wait for His timing, and pray - so that our will can be aligned with His.