Chapter Three takes the intended actions of Chapter Two and sets the expectations into covenant. Verses 15 and 18-19 of Chapter Two speak of the renewal of the covenant God made with the people of Israel going back to the exit from Egypt and the entry into the promised land. This is a resetting and promise of total forgiveness on the part of God. Now in Chapter Three, we have the covenant in newness.
The action that is required of Hosea is not unheard of in the sense of a forgiving spouse. The requirement for success in this case is love. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, describes the type of love that is necessary to overcome the relational break down that has occurred between Hosea (God/Christ) and Gomer (Israel/church).
- How should we define “the love of Jehovah” as used in these verses?
- Is there anything peculiar about the phrase, “woman loved by a friend” in Verse 1?
- What is the point that God is making in declaring that Israel loved raisin cakes of grapes?
When reading Verse 2, it strangely seems like there is slave trading taking place. The thing is, no one is paying for another person. There are only two persons involved in the exchange of the silver and barley.
- That being the case, who is paying the price for Gomer and who is receiving the price for Gomer?
- What does the payment represent from the perspective of God?
The phrase “many days” in Verses 3 and 4 are intended for the immediate application between Hosea and Gomer. I would take this to be the required time to make complete the necessary conversation and actions of reconciliation as described in Hosea 2:14-20. Verse 4 gives a drastic, even extreme measure to bring the relationship back to a point of purity. It may not be unheard of, or even unusual, for a spouse to forgive a cheating spouse, but if there is not a period of time where the relationship can be brought back to the beginning of the offering of vows, then the forgiveness will be in vain. The reoffering of covenant has to be from the heart of both spouses and not just forced (demanded) by one side.
- How can we describe the period of time demanded by God in Verse 3?
- What is the list of items that Israel will do without and what are their significance?
Verse 5 uses some very specific terminology. This is intended to remind the audience of Hosea of the representative nature his marriage carries. The point of the preaching is the reinstitution of the people of God under God’s law. The wording here requires them to look to the future in spiritual terms and not in the terms of the Law of Moses. Base on the wrath of God, the northern kingdom has lost its opportunity to engage the coming Messiah through the Law of Moses. They must now wait without the benefit of sacrifice and priesthood according to the Law of Moses and be patiently looking for the one who would sit on the throne of David. Keep in mind that David and Jesus were not of any of the ten tribes but of the tribe of Judah.
- What and whose kingdom is Hosea speaking of in Verse 5 if David has been dead for so long?
Christ in the Text
Is Jesus in this as prophecy? Yes. In Verses 4 and 5 Jesus is represented as the coming king of kings and branch from root of Jesse which is to occupy the throne of David. See Acts 13:35-37.
Is Christ directly represented in this set of verses? Yes. The reference to David in Verse 5 is a direct reference to Christ. See Luke 1:32, Isa. 9:7; Isa. 16:5; Jer. 23:5; Dan. 2:44; Dan. 7:14, 2 Sam. 7:12-16.
Is Christ indirectly represented in these verses? Yes. In Verse 4 there is the reference to Israel being without king or sacrifice both in their own respective manner being the removal of God’s blessing of each to remind them of the perfection of the coming Christ who would construct the kingdom upon Himself (Matthew 16:18, Acts 3:15, Hebrews 2:10, 5:9, 12:1-2).
Is the purpose of Christ shown in these verses? Yes. The purpose of Christ is reconciliation of the repentant to God. There is a call for repentance in the verses. Since all have sinned, without repentance in the name of Christ, there is only condemnation (Hebrews 11:9-10). Christ is the only means to life as declared by the Lord himself (John 14:6, Hebrews 5:6-10).