Hosea 2:14-23 Seeking the Unfaithful Bride

A Woman of Lower Egypt“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.  And there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.   “And in that day, says the LORD, you will call me,  ‘My husband,’ and no longer will you call me,  ‘My Baal.’  For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more.  And I will make for you a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety.  And I will betroth you to me for ever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy.  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD.   “And in that day, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth;  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel;  and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Not pitied, and I will say to Not my people,  ‘You are my people’; and he shall say ‘Thou art my God.’” Hos 2:14-23

In the previously verses of Hosea 2 God has pronounced judgment on Israel, but now He says he will allure her, or cause her to be “opened to the wilderness”. God frequently arranges it so His people are in the wilderness. Hagar is sent into the wilderness [Gen 21:14], Moses met God in the wilderness [Ex 3], Moses lead the nation into the wilderness [Ex 13:18], Elijah fled to the wilderness [1Kings 19], John the Baptist preached in the wilderness [Matt 1:3], Messiah spent 40 days in the wilderness before starting His ministry [Matt 4:1-2], Paul went out to the wilderness [Gal. 1:17], God’s people are carried into the wilderness [Rev 12:14]. It is a quiet place of contemplation. It is a place of preparation. A place to grow and learn to trust, in relative safety, before facing our battles with Principalities and Powers [Eph. 6:12].

Now everything is backwards to the preceding section. He now states that He will give her vineyards, where before He had said He would destroy her vines.

The Valley of Achor refers to the sad history in Joshua 7, where after a huge loss in the battle to take the city of Ai, the people became aware that something was wrong. It was discovered that Achan (who’s name means snake), had stolen devoted things, from the city of Jericho. After his sin is discovered he and his family are taken out to this valley and stoned.

. . . when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” Josh. 7:21

Since God calls these, devoted things, it can be assumed that Achan took them from a temple inside Jericho. In particular the beautiful mantle from Shinar, would have been a problem.  Shinar is the ancient Bible name for the Mesopotamian valley, or Babylon, where all paganism started, at the tower.

They had been instructed to take no spoils from Jericho, nothing at all. But Achan didn’t just take any kind of loot, he has looted devoted things. He wanted the pretty things that paganism offers.  The things that are forbidden to God’s people.

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. Deut. 18:9 

So now where Achan had brought trouble to all Israel with his coveting of things pagan, all Israel has been troubled because she has prostituted her pure faith with pagan gods. But there is a door of hope in the valley of Achan, once the pagan influence is removed, the blessings will return.  No more shall the sin of Achan trouble Israel. She will again be God’s wife, and call Him husband and not Baal, or master.

Just as when the people returned from there exile in Babylon they never went back to the worship of Baal, Molech, and Ashtaroth. So when Messiah judges the church, all memory of the idolatrous worship of Mary and the saints will be forgotten.

How much of your pure faith is compromised with pagan ideas? [See Also Pagan Origins of Christmas, and Pagan Origins of Easter.]

Even though God has rejected this child of harlotry, there is a way back into the family of God.  He promises that I will say to Not-my-people, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say ‘Thou art my God.’

Just like Ruth the Moabite, who was from a people that were to be cut off from God forever.  When she calls to Naomi “your God shall be my God,” she then stepped from being condemned as a Moabite to being accepted as a child of Abraham, she went from worshiping the Moabite god Chemosh to the one true God. There is no such thing as a people forever condemned.

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 

even if you are a Moabite.

But Boaz answered her,  “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.  The LORD recompense you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:11-12

 

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