We are reading from the Exile Stream today while using the Lexham English Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
God wants to love His people and to bring them back. He asserted that come chapter two of Hosea. But all they seem to want to do is run in another direction.
Someone called Hosea’s writing the throbbing of a broken heart. It certainly is. The passage today is filled with the words that clearly indicate that the horrible behavior of the people that once inhabited Canaan is reigning again. They ARE now fully behaving like the people they were to drive out. What is God supposed to do for, pity sake? This symbolic marriage that Hosea is ordered to walk through is making God’s pain [that we are inflicting on Him] all too personal to us. If God could have gotten to Israel another way perhaps He would have. But what works anymore with these “moral hyenas” ?
3 – Israel is completely behaving like pagans and Judah is too to a point. So God is buying them back and He will chasten and discipline them. After this they will fear and follow God … yes? maybe? soon? ever? when?
4 – reads like a guilty verdict – because it is. Israel is so bad in its sinning that the land itself is suffering, and so are the animals. This is a subtle theme that is still seen today. We’ve seen a land that is blessed turn thorny and repugnant, Gen. 3. Then Gen. 6 brings on a cleansing flood because of sin; nothing else brought on such weather. There are vast deserts in the world today that were productive and fruitful farms back when they were a Christian majority. But violence and paganism and false religion came in and since Living Water (Jesus) was expelled, H2O / water left too. Don’t get mad at God for this!. No mystery here! It’s obvious. Read v. 3 again and there’s the testimony. Sin left undealt with ends up punishing the whole place. From top to bottom, Israel has gone amok. They act like they don’t know God; —-> and it’s NOT God’s fault! They told Him to “get out!”
v. 8 says “they feed on the sin of my people…” This may sound puzzling, but it’s a billboard in all of our faces that there’s a terrible amount of money made off of wrong doing. It’s been going on so long in so many realms that the people can’t see it any other way. Think of all the occupations that would be out of business today if all sin would stop. Plenty of leaders and politicians worldwide perceive sin as something that must be massaged to keep employment numbers up. A sinless world is very frightening to the analytical type and especially to the political type. I’ll leave this alone.
The list is bad in ch. 4: the whoring, prostitution, drunkeness and contests that exist to keep the people this way are astonishing in their lewdness. (God’s love on the other end of the scale is equally astonishing, btw) . Symbolically the land is going to spit these people out at the rate they are going. God’s main contention is with the Priests who are steering this nation into darkness and doing so aggressively. The Priests are making sure of this.
v. 14 may seem strange, “I will not punish…” Sometimes a rascal of a kid in a classroom is so unteachable, that it becomes a waste of time and energy to even try anymore. So they are dismissed and the teacher needs to stop even caring where the kid ends up just to save sanity. That’s the case here in Israel. Disaster is on the whore-izon
God, keep us in your Word, for what we have read today is the “Way of all Flesh”. The song says that we are prone to wander (Lord, I feel it). Thank you God for hanging on to us even when we haven’t the strength to hang on at all. More than being astonished by the sin, may we be amazed by Your Grace; Your Amazing Grace. Amen.