GOD Pursues the Redemption of His Wife (Continued…)
The conclusion of this study will include verses 14 – 23 of Hosea 2.
”Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” Hosea 14-20 (KJV)
There are many times that we think of God’s judgment as only being punitive – to punish. It is so much more. It is also redemptive. It is God’s desire to have His people in the place of blessing, and He gets His people to blessings by both punitive and redemptive judgment.
In verse 14 God says He will “allure her”. This is to attract her to Himself (Romans 2:4). Why would God, who is “Beautiful in holiness”, rich in glory, and worthy of praise, want to attract this people who were in effect, in a state of whoredoms against Him? That is what His grace is all about. Loving the unlovable. Cleansing the unclean.
How would God “allure”, attract her?
- By taking here as His “Wife” again;
- By speaking “comfort to her” [these would be words of love, romance, telling her of her beauty. This loving comfort would even cause her to forget her former lovers];
- By restoring her fruitfulness.
“The Valley of Achor” is the place of Achan’s sin (See Joshua 7). God had commanded Israel not to take any accursed thing for themselves; as they conquered Jericho. The silver, gold, and vessels of bronze and iron were for the LORD’S treasure house. Achan disobeyed and kept a “Babylonish garment” and a “Wedge of gold” which he buried in his tent. Because of this rebellion by one man, and his family the nation lost a battle that should have been won.
We learn from this story that harboring sin is futile to God’s people. Taking to ourselves what God forbids is harlotry against God. Yet God says through Hosea, that “The Valley of Achor [is] as a door of hope”. “When Israel embraced the Baals, she took what God had cursed just as Achan did in taking the spoils of Jericho. Their sin had brought terrible destruction upon them, their children, and their land. Its transformation would be a token of the eternal blessings they would enjoy from now on.” (From Hosea: God’s Reeeming Love by John Traylor pp. 23&24).
A place where a man and his family judged for sin becomes “A door of hope”. There was a man who was judged that is our place of hope. The cross of Jesus, and ugly, despicable judgment, is the only hope mankind has. Because Achan died Israel became victorious. Achan died for his own sins. Jesus “Became sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and died, making victory possible for all who will believe.
What love God has for His people. In verse 2 God said, “She is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!” In verse 16 He says, “You will call Me ‘My Husband’ and no longer “My Master’. Before Israel in their harlotries were recognizing God equally with the Baals. Baali equals “master”, making her a slave [a slave to sin] (See Romans 6:16). God says, “You will no longer be a slave, you will be My Wife, and I your Husband.”
God was going to make their love for Him so great that they would forget about the Baals, and their names. God’s covenant with Israel would be an eternal covenant. Their land would be blessed. The beasts of the field would even be a blessing to them (v. 18).
She would no longer be unfaithful, but holy and righteous unto God. It is God’s work, and they would know that God is the LORD (Ephesians 2:8-10).
“And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, ‘Thou art My people; and they shall say, ‘Thou art my God.’” Hosea 21-23 (KJV)
God declares that He is God over the earth. He controls the rain, the wind, the plague, and the harvest – good and bad. For some reason many Christians have stopped believing this, and it is partly due to our technology; whereby we are sadly mistaken. Technology is good as far as it goes; but God is still God. Not one meteorologist or scientist can make our weather or take it away, they can only make predictions and maybe explain how it happened; nothing more.
Because of Israel’s departure and adultery God had withdrawn His blessings, mercy and grace so they might see His grace, and their evil ways more clearly. Now, God is preparing to return His blessings upon them; the blessings of mercy and grace. They had no mercy, but they will; they experienced no grace, but now they would receive it and see it. They would be His people; who were not a people. They would proclaim “You are my God.”
“The love of God is greater far, than pen or tongue can ever tell.”
The ultimate and final blessing for Israel is yet to come. Even so Come Lord Jesus.
-Tim A. Blankenship