-God continues to speak through the prophet Hosea condemning Israel’s unfaithfulness using the illustration of the harlot. In His discipline He will strip her naked, expose her, make her like a barren wilderness (or desert), and slay her with thirst. His compassion will not be available for her children, and her direction will be confused and pent up with obstacles (thorns). *Application* The end result and purpose of God’s discipline is important for us to underscore here (Hosea 2:7). He wants His unfaithful one to come back to Him, the first husband. He desires for us to see the futility of our wayward ways and realize that He is better than the worldly system with its lies and deceptions. God is the great Provider and He is jealous for us (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps).
-God says that she (referring to Israel and all of His people) followed her lovers and forgot Me (Hosea 2:13). *Application* What a tragedy when we lose sight of our God and go our own way. His punishment comes upon us as a consequence to draw us back and remember who our LORD is.
-Verse 14 is the turning point. At the point of total rejection the LORD allures her back, bringing her into the wilderness to speak kindly to her. This is where she will find her vineyards (fruit, well being). In the most troublesome spot is her salvation. In the valley of Achor (the word means “trouble,” it is a reference to Joshua 7 where Achan sinned by keeping forbidden war plunder at this site and brought great disaster upon the children of Israel) there will actually be a door of hope (Hosea 2:15). *Application* God uses even our negative experiences to create opportunities to turn back to Him. He is pursuing us with His righteous Right Hand to remove our sin and dysfunction.
-God is at work to destroy the false gods and claim His rightful place as Husband to His people. In this eradication section we see future covenant language and abolition from violence and wars. His people, as well as those who receive Him that were not of His people (Hosea 2:23), will be safe and secure under His shelter and they will be betrothed to Him forever in righteousness, justice, lovingkindness, compassion, faithfulness, and above all knowing Him (Hosea 2:19-20). He will respond and take His people in. *Application* This time has not yet been seen in its total fulfillment. As with many Scriptures there is a now but not quite yet aspect to the prophecy. We have seen in our own spirits the change that comes about when we accept the LORD and His salvation through Jesus Christ, yet there is a coming glorification and perfection in the future that will trump even our present joy. Oh how we look forward to that time! We groan and long for it (Romans 8:18-28)!
Verse to Memorize: Hosea 2:20