He first foretells the sure destruction of Israel.
Trampling upon the idolatrous altar at Bethel:
The pillars of the temple were to be cleft asunder, and in their fall to destroy their worshippers; while those who escaped would be pursued by justice;
The passage we have just read is one of the most wonderful descriptions of omnipresence ever written, even by an inspired pen.
They were thus warned not to rely upon past privileges. When they ceased to regard him as peculiarly their God, he made light of all that he had done for them, and reminded them of great things which he had done for other nations.
The prophecy we are now reading is not unmingled evil, it has also joyful tidings concerning glorious times to come.
David’s royal house in the person of the Lord Jesus shall obtain more than its ancient glory; not only revolted Israel, but the heathen also shall submit to his sway.
Palestine will be fruitful once again, yea, it will become the garden of the world when Jesus reigns over it.
Is it not clear from this that Israel will be gathered together under the reign of Jesus the Son of David, and restored to their own land? There is a glorious future for the Lord’s ancient people, and for us also who have come to trust in the great Son of David.
I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness.”
In the days of the second Jeroboam, Hosea lived in Samaria, and prophesied concerning the sins and woes of Israel and Judah. His utterances are passionately earnest, and therefore are often abrupt and broken. In the following chapter, having described the sin of Israel, he very touchingly represents the Lord as winning her heart by his lovingkindness.
And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor or trouble
The time of the nation’s trial would be a season of hearty reformation, and so all her former joy would come back to her.
Ishi my husband
and shalt call me no more Baali my Lord
The name of love shall take the place of the name of law. This is the spirit of the gospel.
It is well when the very name of sin becomes detestable, when vices once delighted in are not even named among us, as becometh saints.
A superlative verse. A bottomless mine of love. It is more suitable to be enjoyed in silence than to be expounded in words. Blessed are those who are married unto the Lord, for his love admits of no change, his espousals never end in divorce.
These are new covenant blessings,—shalls and wills of sovereign grace, full of abounding mercy. Such promises should lead the sinful to seek the Lord repentingly: let us see how Hosea exhorted the people to this.
When the Holy Spirit convinces of sin he has designs of love, and intends to reveal the Saviour’s healing power. God will not torment men before their time, and if now he terrifies their consciences, it is with the design of leading them to his dear Son for refuge.
If we come to God, he will reveal himself to us in forgiving love.
Fickleness is the crying fault of many hearers; they are impressed, but the impression soon departs.
Let not this charge lie against us, but with truly broken hearts let us seek unto the Lord of Hosts by Jesus Christ.