Hosea 14 All God's Children


Well-Known Member
Hosea 14:1 [a]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!

2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
“Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[b]
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.”
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.”
9 Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.

a. Hosea 14:1 In Hebrew texts 14:1-9 is numbered 14:2-10.
b. Hosea 14:2 Or offer our lips as sacrifices of bulls
c. Hosea 14:8 Or Hebrew; Septuagint What more has Ephraim

This is from the easy English site.

The ideas of the last chapter of Hosea are like the ideas we have seen already. Hosea tells the people to repent. Perhaps he is thinking of the people when they will be in exile. There they will have more time to think about their sins. Israel has fallen and the time of exile has begun. Israel needs to find the right words to say. In the past, an Israelite had to bring a sacrifice to God for sin. This was part of the system of sacrifices. But sacrifices have no value if someone does not repent. Instead, they must mean what they say. They must say and do the right things. God will forgive their sin. Then he can forget it.
The prayer where the people repent continues in verse 3. The people understand that there is no hope in Assyria, horses or idols. Instead, they will want to put their hope in God’s covenant. They used to get their horses from Egypt. They needed horses to fight. They made their idols themselves. Israel will want to repent in a true way. They will want to stop these sins. We remember the story of Hosea’s children in the last line of this verse.​
God himself speaks in verse 4. He makes promises to Israel. They will not need to be afraid of God. They will not need to think about God’s anger. Isaiah 54:6-8 gives another picture that is like this. Israel is like a wife coming back to her husband. Israel cannot buy God’s love. Instead of anger, God will bring Israel many more blessings. These blessings will come with water and plants. God told Joseph that this dew would come from the sky (Deuteronomy 33:13). Water is a picture of new life in much of the OT. The new Israel will be pretty, like the flowers (Matthew 6:28, 29). There was always enough water on Lebanon’s hills. The trees were able to grow well. Israel, too, will be able to be strong in the Lord. The olive tree was a good place for shade. It was also good for fruit. Lebanon was a good place to smell trees. Ezekiel, too, uses the picture of new growth on a tree to mean a new start for Israel (Ezekiel 17:22). God will bless Israel through the land. In the future, it will be God who protects Israel. God will provide shade for Israel. Then Israel can be safe. Many of the psalms use the same picture of shade (Psalms 17:8; 91:1). Israel herself is like a tree. Other people will find shelter in her shade. Hosea uses the picture of Lebanon again. Its wine was good. In the past, Israel tried very hard to get these blessings. He will give them even greater blessings instead.​
Again, God asks Israel to throw away her idols. Perhaps if she does not, God will not bless them. All good things come from God. He is like a tree - a tree of life. The people of Israel can be free through him. He always has enough to give.
Hosea finishes his book by writing about a wise person. The ways of God are right. A silly person would not listen. There will be trouble for people who do not obey. But a clever person will keep the laws of the Lord (Psalm 18:22). He will choose the right way. Israel’s true return will only happen in Christ. We see this return in four different ways:​
  • When Cyrus let the Jews return to Israel.
  • In the birth of Christ.
  • In the growth of the church.
  • In the Second Coming of Christ.
This will be the final time that all these things will happen. This is what ‘in Christ’ means.
Bibletrack.org sums it up this way.

In conclusion, it should be noted that Hosea's warning to Israel and Judah is as clear as clear can be. In these 14 chapters, Hosea has repeated over and over again with metaphors, analogies, figures of speech and just plain ol' declarative statements the following offer: Israel and Judah may return to the worship of the one true God and flourish, or they can reject this offer and fall to Assyria. Yet, despite this clear warning, Israel and Judah refused to repent. Only Jerusalem itself would repent under Hezekiah and survive the Assyrian onslaught, but not the strength of the Babylonians 135 years later.​
I think the commentaries missed or almost missed a big part of the message. Hosea's children..... the easy English site mentioned them.... but I don't find anything in any of the other commentaries. In the beginning of the book... God had Hosea marry a whore.... and she had three kids while married to Hosea.... one of them was Hosea's [according to what I read] but the other two... they might have been bastards. It's not likely all three were bastards or all three were his.... because God used Hosea's children as a metaphor.

Hosea's babies were his children.... it didn't matter who the father was.... they were his children. They were born to his wife during the marriage and even though they were of dubious conception.... they were still the kids that Hosea loved to pull up on his lap.

Now why are the children so important???? Because it doesn't matter if "23 and me" doesn't trace my DNA back to Jacob. It doesn't matter what color my skin is.... or if my freckles count against me. What matters is that Hosea loved his children..... all three of them. That leaves the door open to me... a woman who is not a direct descendant of Jacob. I can be a child of God. Hosea says.... it's just as easy as repenting and trusting God to fight my battles for me.

I need to remember..... Jesus hadn't been to earth yet. He hasn't brought the antidote to death. The Greeks and the Romans hadn't conquered Israel yet..... the people Hosea was talking to were exiles.... they had seen murder.... they had been castrated [physically] and had babies [physically] ripped out of their bellies..... and Hosea says to them..... repent.... trust God to save you.

I have to be honest.... if hubby and I were in that situation.... Hubby would say.... "yeah right.... give me a gun and let me protect my family." Just like an alcoholic thinks he can handle one more drink..... or a drug addict can handle one small hit...... or a thief can handle one more caper...... humans insist they can handle it on their own...... until they finally hit rock bottom..... and they have to learn to love what they have and trust in God to help them.

All the children who call God "father" are God's children. Just like the three children Gomer gave Hosea.