The Prostitute Is Brought To Trial & Found Guilty!
Israel’s punishment and restoration are the themes of this chapter. As in a court case, the prostitute is brought to trial and found guilty. But after her punishment, she is joyfully and tenderly restored to God.
Hosea is pre-eminently the prophet of love, but unlike some teachers today, he doesn’t minimize the holiness of God. We’re told that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), but we’re also reminded that “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1:5). God’s love is a holy love; not a sentimental feeling that condones sin and pampers sinners.
The prophet focuses on three particular sins:
- Idolatry (spiritual adultery),
- Ingratitude, and
Today we are going to focus on idolatry (spiritual adultery).
“But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born.
I will leave her to die of thirst,
as in a dry and barren wilderness.
And I will not love her children,
for they were conceived in prostitution.
Their mother is a shameless prostitute
and became pregnant in a shameful way.
Hosea 2:2-5a (NLT)
God speaks to the children and tells them to rebuke their mother for her unfaithfulness. Israel was guilty of worshiping the gods of the pagan nations around them, especially the Canaanite rain god, Baal.
Whenever there was a drought or a famine in the land, the Jews repeatedly turned to Baal for help instead of turning to the Lord. (See 1 Kings 18-19.) Pagan worship involved sensual fertility rites; and for these rites, both male and female prostitutes were provided. In a literal as well as a symbolic sense, idolatry meant prostitution.
Since the people were acting like prostitutes, God would treat them like prostitutes and shame them publicly. He would no longer claim the nation as His wife because she had broken the solemn marriage covenant and consorted with idols. According to Hebrew law, adultery was a capital crime, punishable by death, but God announced that He would discipline Israel and not destroy her.
Unfaithfulness to the Lord is a serious sin, just as unfaithfulness to one’s mate is a serious sin. The man who says he’s 90 percent faithful to his wife isn’t faithful at all. As Israel was tempted to forsake God for idols, the church is tempted to turn to the world system that hates God and wants nothing to do with God.
We must be careful not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17), be friendly with the world (James 4:4), become spotted by the world (1:27), or conform to the world (Rom. 12:2). Each believer and each local church must remain true to Jesus Christ the Bridegroom until He returns to take His bride to the heavenly wedding (2 Cor. 11:1-4; Eph. 5:22-33; Rev. 19:6-9).
I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog post on “Spiritual Adultery”. In my next blog post we are going to focus on “Ingratitude”.
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Amazed