About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Punished And Restored
(ch. 2:1 - 23)
In verse 1 God tells
Hosea to say to his brothers that they are God's people, and to his
sisters, that they are loved by God.
I believe what God is getting at here is that Hosea's fellow
Israelis have been His people and loved by Him all along, but at this
point a separation has come, which we will see in the following verses.
Verse 2 says "rebuke
your mother". The word "mother" here refers to Israel
as a whole, not as individuals as in verse 1.
in the eyes of God is seen as a female.
God tells Hosea to rebuke
his mother. Obviously God is
not talking about Hosea rebuking his biological mother, but his mother
God tells Hosea to tell
his mother, or Israel, that she is not God's wife and God is not her husband.
This speaks of the separation that has come between God and
thinking on divorce, in Matthew 19 and elsewhere he gives one reason for
a legitimate divorce and that is adultery.
What Jesus taught on divorce is a reflection on how Yahweh views
divorce as seen here. God's
action here concerning divorce tells us that adultery is a grounds of
divorce, but that being said, we will see that a remarriage does take
place after the divorce.
The second part of verse
2 has sexual overtones when God says that Israel
should remove the adulterous look on her face.
The adulterous look is the way a prostitute approaches a man to
tell him she is available for him.
The sexual overtones
continue when God says that Israel
should remove the unfaithfulness between her breast.
That which should only be given to a husband, that is God in this
case, has been given to a multitude of other men, and in this case,
We should understand that
the relationship the God has with His people, whether collectively or
individually, resembles the loving and sensual relationship between a
husband and a wife. I
suggest that the sexual union between a husband and his wife is symbolic
of true worship that God's people should have to God.
Through the Holy Spirit, there is a spiritual union with the Lord
that is just as powerful as the sexual union between a husband and his
wife, and maybe even more powerful.
In verse 3 God says that
doesn't repent of her unfaithfulness, He will strip her naked as the day
she was born. She will be
naked, and public nakedness in the Bible is disgraceful and shameful.
In those days, when a man caught his wife in adultery he would
send her into the street naked, which was meant to shame her.
This was actually part of the divorce settlement.
God will do the same with
Judgment is seen in the
last half of verse 3 when God says that Israel
will become like a parched land and she will die of thirst.
That clearly took place throughout history. The
area known historically as Israel
has always been parched, dry, and unmanageable, except in the last
hundred years or so when Israel, in fulfillment of prophecy, has
been restoring the land.
Verse 4 is interesting
and may be hard to take by some. God
says that He will not show love to the children born from this
adulterous generation of Israeli's because they were born from an
adulterous relationship. This
is suggestive of the Bible passages that say God will bring judgment to
the third and fourth generation. God
did judge the children, the grand children, the great grand children,
and so on, of
People may struggle over
the fact that God condemns a whole generation of people.
What we should understand here is that He condemns the
generation, not specific individuals in that generation.
Those who repent and follow the Lord are the exception to God's
condemnation. Therefore God
can and will judge a nation or a generation, yet still bless individuals
in that nation.
One point to be made here
in verse 4 is that God still loves Israel. He's simply not going to
demonstrate, or show, his love to Israel, at least not at the moment. We
will see that He does that later.
Verse 5 shows the
In verse 7 we see that Israel
will chase after her lovers but not catch up to hem.
She will look for them but not find them.
will do this because of the hard times they will experience because of
God's judgment. The problem
is that their lovers, the false gods, can't help them, and that's why
they can't find them. It's
amazing to me that many times when people get into trouble, they still
don't go to the right place for help, at least at first.
Verse 7 shows some
prophetic hope for Israel. After being let down by
her lovers, their other gods, Israel
eventually returns to their God because they finally realize that He is
the only one that can sustain them.
Again, we see the restoration of national Israel
prophesied in verse 7.
Still, at this point in
the prophetic scenario, Israel
is not returning to their God from a true heart of repentance.
It's simply a matter of regaining what they have lost.
Repentance comes later, after they have been both devastated by
judgment and enticed by the Lord.
Verse 8 points to
Note the words "wine
and oil" in verse 8. When
you see "wine and oil" mentioned together as it is here, that
suggests luxury. The
combination of wine and oil was that of the rich, not the poor.
In verse 9 we see God's
judgment on Israel
for the above sin.
Verse 9 speaks of Israel's nakedness. Nakedness in
the Bible is something that is seen as shameful, which is obviously not
the case in today's world. So
in verse 10, God said that He would display her "lewdness to her
nakedness and the adultery that follows is lewd in the eyes of God.
He would show her lovers, that's the surrounding pagan nations
and their gods, just how lewd and how low
Verse 10 also says,
"no one will take her out of my hands".
This means that no one will stop God's judgment on Israel. He is the Sovereign Lord,
and He will judge the northern kingdom of Israel
and bring her down, and He did.
In verse 11 God turns to Israel's religious life. He says
that He will put an end to all of the so-called religious services.
We need to understand that it was God Himself
who commanded Israel
to perform these services. The
problem from God's standpoint was that when Israel
paganized these services by fusing Judaism with paganism, she destroyed
the original intention of these services in the eyes of God.
They were no longer what God meant them to be and therefore had
no more purpose. God did
destroy these things when He scattered the Jews among the Assyrians.
This should tell us how
God views our Christian practices and services today.
If we paganized, which we are now doing, and if we secularize,
which we are now doing, the church, God will view us and what we do in
the same way as He did with
Verse 12 speaks of God
ruining the wine and the figs of the northern kingdom.
In the last verse God said He would destroy the religious part of
the northern kingdom. Here
it's the economic aspect to the kingdom that He will destroy.
Note that Israel
viewed the wine and figs as being paid for by her lovers, these other
gods, but that wasn't really the case.
They came from God, and, attributing something that comes from
God to someone else, is blasphemy.
In verse 13 God punishes
the northern kingdom for burning incense to the Baals.
Note here the word "Baals".
People often think of Baal as being one god, but that's not
exactly so. Each community
had their own Baal.
Burning of incense in
Baal worshipper reminds me of the modern day Emergent church that does
the same. Some of these
churches will burn incense and practice other such things with other
religions. God would clearly
not be happy with this. Some
Evangelical leaders promote the burning of incense as a means of
stimulating our sense of smell during worship.
The jewelry mentioned in
verse 13 was specific pieces of jewelry used in Baal worship.
This is why the apostle Paul speaks to women wearing such jewelry
in the New Testament. Prostitutes
in Paul's day wore such jewelry, which actually originated from the
temple prostitutes of Baal.
Verse 14 and onward
speaks of the restoration of
Verses 14 and 15 speak of
the restoration of
I believe the word
"allure" is important here.
The Hebrew word translated as "allure" means "to
open or persuade". Therefore
in context, I believe "allure" here denotes some kind of
usage here is one of "affection". God "opens"
His arms of love for the one He has divorced.
Thus the meaning of the Hebrew word "pathah".
Remember, we are seeing God's relationship with
There are all sorts of
reasons why people are returning to Israel
today, yet beyond all of the stated reasons, whether people know it or
not, God is alluring them back to the land. Once
back in the land, then He will allure Israelis back to Himself.
During the alluring process, God will "speak
tenderly" to His x-wife, as stated in verse 14.
I'm not sure how He does this, but I'm sure the Holy Spirit has
something to do with these tender words. I believe God is doing this in
Verse 15 says give her
back her vineyards. This
prophetic message is seen throughout the Old Testament prophets.
This is happening right now as I write, and has been happening
since 1948, an even for decades before.
Verse 15 speaks of
Another prophetic promise
is seen in verse 15. Israel
will sing as in the days of her youth.
In the days of our youth, when we are innocent and find love, our
hearts are glad and we sing. This
is yet another reference to the romance that people have in their youth
and the joy that follows.
Verse 16 tells of one
very glorious day. In
"that day", meaning, the days when Israel
finally returns to their God. This
will be after the Tribulation that ends this age.
will return to their God. They
will marry Him once again. He
will no longer be their master, but their husband.
What a day that will be for
You can vividly see the
heart of God in this chapter. He
is so hurt by
Verse 17 speaks again of
One thing to realize
about the Abrahamic Covenant is that we must not reinterpret it to mean
the promises have been given to the church.
The promises within the Abrahamic Covenant must be understood in
the same way that Abraham himself understood them, and Abraham had no
idea that these promises were meant for anyone but
The Bible speaks of a
number of covenants. There's
the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, the Joshua Covenant, the
Davidic Covenant, the New Covenant, and now here in verse 18 we see that
God makes yet another covenant with
I don't think we should
mistake this covenant with the New Covenant of salvation.
The context clearly portrays that this covenant will be with
Verse 18 ends with the
words, "so that all may lie down in safety".
Safety is one thing that
I find the word
"safety" interesting here.
For those who believe in a literal anti-Christ and a literal
seven years of world wide tribulation,
Verse 19 states that the
Notice the words
"justice" and "love" in verse 19.
This second marriage is a matter of both love and justice as is
with all marriages, and is the case with anything God does.
All marriage relationships should be a matter of love, but they
also should be a matter of justice.
That means each person treats the other justly. Most
modern marriages have no concept of marital justice, and if asked, they
probably think it has something to do with a marriage license, but
that's not the case.
Another aspect of
marriage is "faithfulness" as seen in verse 20.
God is always faithful. He
is faithful to His word and He is faithful to whom He commits Himself.
If He says He will love, He will love.
If He says He will destroy, He will destroy.
If He says He will remarry Israel, as He says here, He will certainly remarry
Israel. There is no doubt
about that. I believe
Restoration theology is wrong when it does away with the future
significance of Israel.
Verse 20 ends with,
"you will acknowledge the Lord".
That's Yahweh. That's
the God of Israel, and in one real sense of the word, that is Jesus
because He is seen as Lord in New Testament terms.
Verses 21 and 22 suggest
a harmony in what the world calls nature . The sky, the land, and what
grows on the land will all exist in an harmonious relationship.
Creation fell along with man in the Garden of Eden.
Creation will be restored along with
The mention of Jezreel
here, which means "God sows", is probably in reference to the
In verse 23 God speaks of
sowing, but not in terms of crops, but in terms of sowing
God will call the people
who once weren't "His people".
Don't confuse the words "not my people" with the
Gentiles. I believe these
words refer to Israel
in their divorced period. This
simply speaks of the remarriage of the people God disowned.
This verse should be compared to Hosea 1:10 where the same words
are used – "not my people".
There I noted that the apostle Paul used these words and in
context meant them to be Gentiles. Linking these two verses together may
be confusing, but the words "not my people" may well mean both
Gentiles, and back-slidden Jews, because, both are in the same boat.
Both are separated from God.
Remember, part of what is happening here is that God has divorced