Hosea prophesied in the last years of the northern Kingdom, of unfaithful Israel. Israel was dismembered by Assyria as God’s punishment in 733BC. Hosea was asked to marry an unfaithful woman, Gomer, who bore him 3 children. The marriage was symbolic of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God chasing after Canaan’s deities, forgetting their one true God. Despite that, God never forgot His marriage vows to Israel. It was Gomer’s (Israel) reform that God sought, not its riddance.
His Love for His people, is symbolized by the marriage vow – God will never forsake!
He will court her (Israel) again with love, by leading her tenderly to a desert place. He brought Israel to the place of reconciliation, a desert place – symbolic of spiritual dryness. It will turn into a place of Spring. The new covenant bride (v19 – 20) will be betrothed to God forever. God promises righteousness, justice, love, compassion and faithfulness. He will restore Israel’s vineyard. He will put a protective wall around it.
Have we been unfaithful to our Lord? – Broken promises, unfulfilled tasks, lured by the temptations of idols around us.
Come to your desert place; A place of quiet and reflection, repentance, and a place of reconciliation.
“Never will I forsake you” says the Lord.
By Dr Leong Chee Lu (YCKC Bulletin 23&24 March 2019)