Those who exchange the service of God for the service of the world and the flesh will sooner or later be made to own that they have changed for the worse,
finding themselves cast off of God and hedged about with thorns.
Woe unto us, if God will not own Himself in relation to us.
1 Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
2 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;
3 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.
4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.
5 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.
6 ¶ Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.
11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
12 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.
13 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.
14 ¶ Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
15 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.
16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.
18 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.
19 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.
20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
21 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;
22 And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.
23 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 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Hosea 2:1-13 – The Bitter Sin of Wandering from God.
Hosea is represented as having exhausted his expostulations upon his faithless wife. He has tried every arrow in love’s quiver, but in vain; so now he sends his children, worse than motherless, to plead with their mother, before she brings upon them all irretrievable retribution.
Almost insensibly our mind passes from the pleadings of the human love to the divine Bridegroom. Often he has to erect thornhedges about us – not that he takes pleasure in thwarting us, but that we may be diverted from ruin. There was no better method of turning Israel from her idols than by withholding that material prosperity which she thought they gave. Has not this been our experience also? Our mirth has ceased and our prosperity has vanished. We have sat amid the wrecks of a happy past. It is not that God has ceased to care for us, but that he longs to wean us back to himself. Have we reached the point of saying, “It is better with me then, than now”? Then let us be of good cheer! The dawn is already on the hills, and God’s coming to us, in restoring grace, is like the breaking glory of the morning! (Meyer)
Hosea 2:14-23 – ”A Door of Hope.”
The valley of Achor was a long wild pass up through the hills. The prophet says that a door of hope would open there, like the Mont Cenis tunnel which leads from the precipices and torrents on the northern slopes of the Alps to the sunny plains of Italy. That door opens hard by the heap of stones beneath which that troubler of Israel, Achan, was laid. We must put away our Achans before we can see doors of hope swing wide before us. (Meyer)
Hosea 2:15—The valley of Achor for a door of hope.
We are familiar with the story of the valley of Achor, where Achan the troubler of Israel was stoned to death. We can almost fancy the long stony valley through which again the house of Israel was made to pass. The prophet foresaw the heavy judgments which were about to fall upon the land, as God took back his corn and wine and flax, and laid waste their vines and fig-trees. It seemed as though the nation were again in the valley of trouble; and as the people take their weary way, dropping with fatigue and privation, behold, a door suddenly opens in the stony wall of flint, through which they pass into a land of corn, and wine, and wifely loyalty to their true husband. Thus the traveller piercing the Alps will, within the space of an hour, leave the northern slopes of ice and snow, and emerge upon the fertile plains of Italy.
It is a beautiful similitude, and one that still has its counterpart in spiritual experience. You, too, are in the valley of Achor—brought there in consequence of your sins; your life is overcast; your heart desolate. Ah, how different it is with you now, compared with those fast glad days when you went out after God, in the kindness of your youth, and the love of your espousals! God cannot leave you. He comes and pleads, “Return unto Me; thou art mine.” Will you answer his tender pleading with repentance, faith, and prayer? Will you cry, “Oh that it were with me as in the first days!” Then, immediately, right before you, the door of hope will spring open; and you will pass from winter to summer; from ice to vernal heat. Dare to believe that in your Valley of Achor there is but a door between you and the Divine betrothal—only a step. (Meyer)