October 8, 2021
"I will respond to the sky and it will respond to the earth. The earth will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel."
“I will respond to the sky and it will respond to the earth. The earth will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will sow Israel in the land for Myself, and I will have compassion on No Compassion; I will say to Not My People: You are My people, and he will say: You are My God.” Hosea 2: 21-23
It is important to remember that the people and events in the book of Hosea are both actual and metaphorical. God was using Hosea’s life example to send a message primarily to the half of the Divided Kingdom known as Judah (which consisted of both the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and people from the other tribes who wanted to worship God in Jerusalem). Secondarily, He was speaking to the other ten tribes of the Divided Kingdom, referred to as “Israel.” He is also speaking to us today.
Hosea lived during the last 25 years of Israel’s existence as a nation. During this time, six Kings reigned through a period of near anarchy and bloodshed. Israel’s spiritual condition had deteriorated to the point where knowledge of the Lord had almost been forgotten. Canaanite religion had been mixed with the worship of the Lord until the Lord could hardly be recognized. Priests and prophets also fell into this mixed religion. Rather than speaking out against idolatry, they promoted and participated in it.
In my opinion, the Church at large is headed down a similar path. The more believers absorb secular philosophy into their worship (and pastors not only tolerate it but also endorse it themselves), I can’t help but believe we are in for very difficult days. God simply will not tolerate it. In chapter 1, the Lord told Hosea to marry a promiscuous wife named Gomer. Gomer bore Hosea three children. It is unclear whether they were Hosea’s children or whether they were children of Gomer’s promiscuous relationships with other men. In Hebrew, the children’s names are Yzre’el (God Sows), Lo-Ruchama (No Compassion), and Lo-‘Ammi (Not My People). They represent the progression of Israel’s spiritual decline. They are reversing the process of God’s having sown them into Canaan, shown them compassion, and called them His people.
As a result, the Lord punished Israel at the hand of the Assyrians, scattering them throughout the nations. Afterward, He again “sowed” Israel back into their land; God showed them compassion and identified them as His people. Israel’s return was largely in part to the fact that they repented, having been “persuaded” and “spoken tenderly to” by the Lord, in the wilderness of the nations. ( Hosea 2:14-16) God always honors repentance, humility, and honest worship. As a result, the “prophecies” of the meanings of the names of Hosea’s children have been reversed!
Similarly, our spiritual conditions change when we turn from spiritual harlotry and cultural idolatry, i.e., modern-day paganism. God’s Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness toward the repentant sinner are the hallmarks of His character. These marked the return of God’s favor for “adulterous” Israel, and they are extended to the repentant worldly believer today.