Hosea 2* The idolatry of the people. (1-5) God's judgments againstthem. (6-13) His promises of reconciliation. (14-23)1-5 This chapter continues the figurative address to Israel, inreference to Hosea's wife and children. Let us own and love asbrethren, all whom the Lord seems to put among his children, andencourage them in that they have received mercy. But everyChristian, by his example and conduct, must protest against eviland abuses, even among those to whom he belongs and owesrespect. Impenitent sinners will soon be stripped of theadvantages they misuse, and which they consume upon their lusts. 6-13 God threatens what he would do with this treacherous,idolatrous people. They did not turn, therefore all this cameupon them; and it is written for admonition to us. If lesserdifficulties be got over, God will raise greater. The mostresolute in sinful pursuits, are commonly most crossed in them.The way of God and duty is often hedged about with thorns, butwe have reason to think it is a sinful way that is hedged upwith thorns. Crosses and obstacles in an evil course are greatblessings, and are to be so accounted; they are God's hedges, tokeep us from transgressing, to make the way of sin difficult,and to keep us from it. We have reason to bless God forrestraining grace, and for restraining providences; and even forsore pain, sickness, or calamity, if it keeps us from sin. Thedisappointments we meet with in seeking for satisfaction fromthe creature, should, if nothing else will do it, drive us tothe Creator. When men forget, or consider not that theircomforts come from God, he will often in mercy take them away,to bring them to think upon their folly and danger. Sin andmirth can never hold long together; but if men will not takeaway sin from their mirth, God will take away mirth from theirsin. And if men destroy God's word and ordinances, it is justwith him to destroy their vines and fig-trees. This shall be theruin of their mirth. Taking away the solemn seasons and thesabbaths will not do it, they will readily part with them, andthink it no loss; but He will take away their sensual pleasures.Days of sinful mirth must be visited with days of mourning. 14-23 After these judgments the Lord would deal with Israelmore gently. By the promise of rest in Christ we are invited totake his yoke upon us; and the work of conversion may beforwarded by comforts as well as by convictions. But usually theLord drives us to despair of earthly joy, and help fromourselves, that, being shut from every other door, we may knockat Mercy's gate. From that time Israel would be more trulyattached to the Lord; no longer calling him Baali, or "My lordand master," alluding to authority, rather than love, but Ishi,an address of affection. This may foretell the restoration fromthe Babylonish captivity; and also be applied to the conversionof the Jews to Christ, in the days of the apostles, and thefuture general conversion of that nation; and believers areenabled to expect infinitely more tenderness and kindness fromtheir holy God, than a beloved wife can expect from the kindesthusband. When the people were weaned from idols, and loved theLord, no creature should do them any harm. This may beunderstood of the blessings and privileges of the spiritualIsrael, of every true believer, and their partaking of Christ'srighteousness; also, of the conversion of the Jews to Christ.Here is an argument for us to walk so that God may not bedishonoured by us: Thou art my people. If a man's family walkdisorderly, it is a dishonour to the master. If God call uschildren, we may say, Thou art our God. Unbelieving soul, layaside discouraging thoughts; do not thus answer God'sloving-kindness. Doth God say, Thou art my people? Say, Lord,thou art our God.
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