1 Say to your brother, “My people,” and to your sister, “She has obtained pity.”
2 “Plead with your mother, plead — for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband — that she put away her harlotry from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; 3 lest I strip her naked and make her as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and set her like a parched land, and slay her with thirst. 4 Upon her children also I will have no pity, because they are children of harlotry. 5 For their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ 6 Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns; and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths. 7 She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now.’ 8 And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold which they used for Baal. 9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season; and I will take away my wool and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness. 10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand. 11 And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. 12 And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, ‘These are my hire, which my lovers have given me.’ I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them. 13 And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned incense to them and decked herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, says the LORD. Hos 2:1-13
The Lord now addresses Jezreel (the seed of God). He affirms to him that He will accept his siblings, but their mother is still under judgment. Jezreel is told to “plead” i.e. “ryv” with his mother, but the Hebrew word has more the idea of “contending” or “striving”, and further the tense is, action that is to go on and on.
Many, many times we are told by our culture and families not to argue about religion. However here we are admonished to do just that. The warning must be given, and as uncomfortable as this is for many of us, we are compelled to warn them. The prophets of the Bible all had the same problem. Over and over they gave warnings that no one heeded. Over and over the people rejected the warnings, with a belief that it didn’t matter what they did, for they were God’s people, just as the Lord tells Ezekiel, a warning must be given.
If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Ezek. 3:18-19
So Jezreel must warn his mother that she must give up her harlotries or be turn out to the wilderness without food without water. Her children will not be accepted, for they are children of harlotry.
Israel’s i.e. The Ten Northern Tribes, greatest crime was that she has been squandering all that the LORD had provided, and given it to the pagan gods, as offerings, the water, the wool and the flax, the oil and the drink. These she had given to the Baals and the Molechs. God argues that it is not pagan god, nor the saints, nor pixies, or what ever a culture calls the spirit word, that brings the rain, the sun and harvest. Nor do you provide it by your own strength or knowledge of farming techniques. He and He alone provides the sun and the rain.
God now warns that her path to these pagan gods will become impassable, the people of Israel shall not be able to find their way anymore. There is nothing that will confuse people more than mixing in paganism with true faith. However God said He will intervene, and they will no longer be able to find these pagan gods. So it was that after the Jews came back from exile in Babylon, they never again worshiped these pagan gods. Almost all memory of them was lost. What we do know of them comes from the pages of the Bible and archeology digs.
So it is with these same Babylonian influences in our present age. All these pagan corruptions will burn, and in some way we will always remember that we corrupted our faith and like the Jews coming back from Babylon, we will never repeat the lesson. As The Revelation says of her judgment—
Once more they cried, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” Rev. 19:3
And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts. Hos. 2:11
Here is a list of Biblical holy days, right in the middle of her sin. They seem to be out of place. Why would God be upset with His own appointed days? This is because you cannot party with God and then keep pagan holy days without coming to judgment. No matter how much your pastor, preacher, priest, or teacher say it is okay to keep Christmas, it was not okay for the Israelites to do the same thing. Why would it be okay for us? Keeping God’s appointed days count for nothing before God, if one is also worshiping pagan things. You cannot go to Baal on Sunday and then keep the Sabbath, and think that all is right with God. He will not tolerate this compromise. Like any husband, He is a jealous God.
. . . you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Ex. 20:5
We think that we are trying to live “right”, but by who’s standards? Man’s or God’s?
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Prov. 14:12
The so called believers in the church have gone one better than the ancient Israelites. They no longer keep God’s appointed times at all. They claim they have passed away. They have fixed it all, by renaming the pagan festivals with Christian names, Saturnalia has become Christmas, weeping for Tammuz is called Lent, and the pagan spring fertility festival is still called by its pagan name, Easter. What are we doing following these false teachers?
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Ex. 20:2 -3
There are no exceptions. There were none for Israel, and there are none for believers in Messiah.
And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned incense to them and decked herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers, and forgot me, says the LORD. Hos. 2:13
As John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, said
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 3:2
If you are participating in festivals and holy days that do not source in the Bible, ask yourselves why you are doing it. Is this truly pleasing to God? Turn to your Bible, it will not lie.
We have prostituted ourselves to things that are not real. We have sold our souls for sparkly decorations and shallow gift giving. We deny ourselves food and drink i.e. Lent, a pagan ritual so old that few remember that its origin is pagan. We are taught to pay a tithe, because then God will have to bless us.
To what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. Jer. 6:20
. . . because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. Rom. 1:25
God chose to explain his pain to us in terms we all could understand. Here He calls His people prostitutes. The act of a prostitution destroys the culture, the marriage, and the family of those affected by the unfaithfulness. However the pain of the husband is devastating. This is what we are doing to our relationship with our God. He loves us as a husband loves his wife.
We are telling him is He is not enough. We want other lovers. We want, not things that will make us better, healthier, or wiser, we want the junk of life. We don’t want jewels at the judgment, we want tinsel now.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw — each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Cor. 3:10 -15