corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Hosea 2

 

 

Verses 5-23

In this chapter God compares Israel to a woman who had been unfaithful to her husband in the very worst and most wicked manner.

Hosea 2:5. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.

She attributed to false gods the gifts which God had given to her. This was great ingratitude to God, and a high insult to his holy majesty.

Hosea 2:6. Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

That is what God does to sinners whom he means to save. He will not let them take their own course. He gives them thorny trials which hedge up their way. He puts an obstacle in their path, perhaps some sickness or poverty. When men are desperate in wickedness, God has a way of stopping them. Even in their mad career, his mighty grace comes in, and says, “So far shalt thou go, but no further.”

Hosea 2:7. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them:

Thus sinners go after the pleasures of the world, and the pleasures run away from them. They make one thing their god, and then another; and they put out all their strength to attain the object of their ambition; and God thwarts them. In infinite love, he baffles all their endeavors because he means to bring them to himself.

Hosea 2:7. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.

That is what he brings us to; weary of the world, ay, weary of life itself, We get worn out in the ways of evil, and then we say, “I will go to God.” What a blessed conclusion to come to! However terrible the whip with which he scourges us, it does us good. The fierce billow that washes the mariner upon the rock of safety, is a blessing to him.

Hosea 2:8-9. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness.

God claims the blessings of providence as his own; and when he sees his people misuse them, he says, “I will recover them. She is giving them to Baal. She is using them for an evil purpose; I will take them away.”

Hosea 2:10-11. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

When God deals with men, he uses no half measures. If they have been very happy in the ways of sin, and he intends to save them from their evil courses; he will take away all their joy. They shall henceforth have none of the merriment in which they indulged. He will give them better happiness by-and-by; but for the time being it shall be true, “I will cause all her mirth to cease.”

Hosea 2:12. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

Her most precious things shall be destroyed; or, if they are allowed to exist, they shall become a cause of fear and trouble. Oh, how often have I seen this verified in the experience of men and women whom God has saved by his almighty grace!

Hosea 2:13. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

They burnt no incense at Jerusalem; they refused to offer sacrifice there; but they went to this hill and to that, to worship the different images of Baal, and said, “These are our gods.” Therefore, God says that he will make them sick of their idolatry. They shall grow tired of thus polluting his holy name, and degrading themselves by worshipping things made of wood and stone.

Hosea 2:14. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

Oh, glorious verse! She that went so far astray, God will come, and draw her back from the path of sin. He will get her alone; he will bring her into a place of grief and sorrow, a wilderness; and then he will come near, and speak sweet words of comfort into her ear. “I will allure her,” as the bird-catchers whistle to the birds, and draw them to the net, so will I allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, the place of loneliness, the place of want; and “I will speak to her heart,” so the Hebrew has it, for God knows how to speak, not only into the ear, but into the heart.

Hosea 2:15. And I will give her her vineyards from thence,

He will give back what he took away. He will seal with lovingkindness the real kindness which made him deal roughly with her at first.

Hosea 2:15. And the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Oh, backslider, God can give you back your early joy, your early love, ay, and your early purity; and he can make you sing as at the beginning! Wherefore, be of good comfort, and come to your Lord; come even now, with all your sins about you, and he will receive you.

Hosea 2:16. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.

“Baali” means “my lord” in the sense of domination; but God will not seem to us any more like a domineering governor, as we once thought him; but we shall call him “Ishi”, “my husband.” There shall be such nearness of love, such confidence of hope, between the restored soul and her God, that she shall call him no more Baali, but Ishi.

Hosea 2:17. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.

Oh, the love of God! He does not want us to recollect our old ways. I do not like to hear people talk about their old habits, except they do it very tenderly, with many a tear and many a sigh, and tell the story to the praise and glory of divine grace. God takes the old names out of our lips; we forget them, we have done with them, we bury the dead past, and we live in newness of life.

Hosea 2:18. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground:

So that the insects should not devour the crops, and the foxes should not spoil the vines, and the birds should not steal the seeds, so will God take care of his people still. It does seem that, when we once get right with God, we get right with everything; when we are at peace with him, then neither beast, nor fowl, nor creeping thing can do us harm.

Hosea 2:18. And I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

They had been much troubled by war. It had killed their children, destroyed their homes, and made them poor and wretched. Now God says, “I will break the bow and the sword and the battle.” How often God gives a heavenly calm to us when we are once washed in the blood of Christ, and covered with his righteousness! I remember how the storm within my heart was hushed into a deep calm as soon as I had seen my Lord, and had yielded my heart to him. Oh, you that are in storms tonight, I pray that God may bring you to himself, and give you “peace, perfect peace!” And then what more will the Lord do?

Hosea 2:19. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever;

What, this woman that had gone so far into evil? Can a man receive such an one back? No; but God can. He says there shall be a new betrothal, a new marriage: “I will betroth thee unto me for ever.” Blessed word!

Hosea 2:19-20. Yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

Thou shalt know Jehovah; thou shalt know that there is none like him, passing by iniquity, transgression, and sin; and faithful to his people even when they are unfaithful to him. Is there any god like our God? Have you ever tasted his grace? Do you know his pardoning love? Have you ever been brought back to him? Have you been restored to his favor? Then I am sure you can say, “There is none like unto Jehovah.”

Hosea 2:21-22. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.

God would send rain when it was wanted. He would be all ear to hear on behalf of his people. He would not only hear them, but hear the very earth they tilled, and the heavens above their heads, as if nature itself began to pray when the child of God learned that holy art.

Hosea 2:23. And I will sow her unto me in the earth;

He would make the people to be like the seed which he himself would sow, and cause to spring up, and abide.

Hosea 2:23. And I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy;

I would like to read that again. Somebody has, perhaps, come in here tonight, who has never obtained mercy. Perhaps you have been seeking it, and you have not found it. Hear God’s promise, and lay hold upon it: “I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy.”

Hosea 2:23. And I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

See, it is all in “shalls” and “wills.” God is speaking, God omnipotent, omnipotent over men’s hearts. He is not saying, “I will if they will,” but “I will, and they shall,” for he hath the key of free agency; and when he turns it in the lock, without violating the free will of man, he makes him willing in the day of his power to the praise of his divine supremacy, for God is God when he saves as much as when he reigns; yes, his reigning grace is the very glory of his nature, and this we love and adore. Grant us a taste of it! Amen.


Verses 6-23

Hosea 2:6. Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

God will cause sin to be painful; he will make the way of it difficult; he will do everything to prevent the sinner running in it: “She shall not find her paths.”

Hosea 2:7. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them;

They cannot find satisfaction in sinful pleasure; that which once they easily obtained, they shall no longer be able to procure.

Hosea 2:7. And she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.

Am I addressing a backslider? Has God hedged up your way? Is there a whisper in your heart which reminds you of better days and happier times? Oh, stifle not that whisper! Let it be heard within your spirit; if it be but a gentle voice, listen to it till it increases in force, and sounds like the very voice of God in your soul; it will be for your present and eternal good if you do so.

Hosea 2:8. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.

It is a sad sin when we take God’s mercies, and use them in rebellion against him. Just think of it, — the very gifts which Jehovah gave to these people, they presented in sacrifice to Baal; and there are men, who are in comfortable circumstances, who spend their wealth for sin. They have health and strength, and they use them in the service of their own evil passions. The very gifts with which God has enriched them become weights to sink them deeper and deeper in the gulf of transgression. Ah, this is terrible! God has often brought men down to poverty, to sickness, to death’s door, in order that they might be weaned from their sin. He saw that they were going to hell full-handed, and he judged it better that they should go to heaven empty-handed. He knew that, if they had health, they would misuse it, so he stretched them on the bed of sickness, that they might turn to him. God has severe remedies for desperate cases; he will do all that mercy and wisdom can suggest to prevent men from being their own destroyers.

Hosea 2:9-11. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

There is no more merriment now; the old songs have lost their sweetness, and the old games have lost their charm.

Hosea 2:12. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

So that the joys of sin shall become miseries, as if vineyards were suddenly trained into dense forests wherein lions and wolves might make their lairs. There are some people who can understand this in a spiritual sense; some, perhaps, who have been made to realize it in their own experience.

Hosea 2:13. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

It is terrible when God comes to visit upon men the days of their sin,-when for every night of sin they shall have a night of anguish. — when for every pleasure that they took in sin they shall feel the scourge of conscience till they have measured out the weary round. “She went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.” This was said by him who never forgot her, by him whose love was true and faithful to her when she thus went away from him, and defiled herself and dishonoured his holy name. Now read the next verse; and be astonished, —

Hosea 2:14. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

You might have thought the Lord was going to say, “Therefore, behold, I will destroy her.” Nothing of the kind: “l will fascinate her to myself; I will draw her away from all her idol lovers, and I will speak comfortably unto her.”

Hosea 2:15. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

“I will pluck this Israel of mine out of all her sin; I will give her back the purity and the happiness of her early days: ‘ She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.’” You must have noticed how often God speaks of that coming out of Egypt. He says, in another place, “I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness.” Here the Lord promises to give back to Israel the joy she had when she was young, and espoused herself to her God.

Hosea 2:16. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.

“Thou shalt call me, My man, my husband,” — a name of sweet endearment, “and shalt call me no more Baali,” that is, “my lord, my lordly husband,” for the Lord’s love shall not be galling to thee, but it shall sweetly and gently rule thee. Oh, what a sweet change this is, when we no longer tremble before God with slavish fear, but love him with intense affection, and see in him our soul’s Husband in whom is all our delight!

Hosea 2:17. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.

The word Baalim had been profaned, they had applied it to other lords; and when they used it concerning Jehovah, it sounded harsh, as if he, too, was a tyrant master.

Hosea 2:18. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground:

Everything is in covenant with me if I am in covenant with God; there is nothing so high that it can hurt me, there is nothing so low that it can injure me, there is nothing so great that it need distress me, there is nothing so little that it shall torment me.

Hosea 2:18. And I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

Oh, the security of God’s people when they get into their right position towards God!

Hosea 2:19. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

What a glorious promise is this! It is marvellous that our wayward, wanton, wicked souls should be brought back by infinite mercy, and then that God should be so enamoured of us as to declare, “I will betroth thee unto me for ever.”

Hosea 2:20. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

It is said three times that he will betroth us unto himself, as if the Lord knew that we should hardly be able to believe it.

Hosea 2:21-22. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil and they shall hear Jezreel.

So that there shall be no famine to try God’s people; their prayers shall be abundantly answered, and all their needs shall be supplied.

Hosea 2:23. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

Oh, blessed Scripture! May the Lord write it on all our hearts! Amen.


Verse 14-15

You remember that, a fortnight ago, we read the second chapter of the prophecy of Hosea, and I preached from the fourteenth verse. I am going to continue that subject tonight, so we will read two verses of the same chapter over again. I am sure we shall never exhaust it, and you will not be weary of hearing it. We will begin with the text from which I then spoke to you.

Hosea 2:14-15. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

Now I want you to hear how she did sing in the days of her youth, in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. Turn to the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus, where we have the joyful song of the emancipated chosen nation.

This exposition consisted of readings from Hosea 2:14-15; and Exodus 15:1-21.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Hosea 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/hosea-2.html. 2011.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology