Because she’s a whore,
God will lay waste her fig trees
‘Til she is faithful.
–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle
“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’
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.
God paints Israel as an adulterous wife, lewdly offering herself to other gods.
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 olive oil and my drink.’
Hebrews 11:25 refers to “the fleeting pleasures of sin.” It can seem so good! The nice gifts from the lovers, and the “feel good” of the time together — yet at what cost to one’s soul?
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.
God gives to man the trees of the forest and the iron in the ground. He gives man the brains to make an axe and nails from the iron, and the energy to cut down the tree, the skill to fashion the wood into beams. God gives man the cleverness to make a handle from the wood, and head from the iron, and combine it into an effective hammer. Then man takes the beams, the nails, and the hammer and he nails God to the cross — where God willingly stretched out His arms, dying on the cross to take the guilt and penalty man’s sin deserved, to make an new, restored relationship between God and man possible.
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 naked body.
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 festivals.
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 wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
“This is a singular kind of power: ‘I will allure her;’ not, ‘I will drive her’ not even, ‘I will draw her,’ or, ‘I will drag her;’ or, ‘I will force her.’ No, ‘I will allure her.’ It is a very remarkable word, and it teaches us that the allurement of love surpasses in power all other forces. That is how the devil ruins us; he tempts us with honeyed words, sweet utterances, with the baits of pleasure and the like; and the Lord in mercy determines that, in all truthfulness, he will outbid the devil, and he will win us to himself by fascinations, enticements, and allurements which shall be stronger than any force of resistance we may offer. This is a wonderfully precious word: ‘I will allure her.’”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond 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, the birds in the sky
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—
John 15:7 (NLT)
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
“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 the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.
Hosea’s first child, a son, was named Jezreel, which means “scattered” in a negative sense (Hosea 1:4-5). But it is also the word which can be used to describe the good scattering of seed, “sowing.” Here, the Lord promises glorious redemption of the name Jezreel, which was first given as a sober reminder of scattering in judgment. Now it becomes a prophecy of the promise. God will restore His people to abundance and blessing. Scattering will be transformed into sowing.
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
Hosea’s second child, a daughter, was named Lo-Ruhamah, meaning “No Mercy” (Hosea 1:6). That name, originally given as a mark of judgment, is now transformed into a mark of restoration.
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
We see complete restoration! All three of Hosea’s children, named as marks of judgment, now have their names restored and made into marks of mercy, grace, and restoration. God is so good!
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”
HERE is a song based on Hosea, written by Gregory Norbert. “Come Back to Me.”