Hosea 2:1 (NIV) 1 “Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’
Verse 1: This verse fits in more with the contents of chapter 1 than with chapter 2. At the end of chapter 1 Hosea describes how God will show His people amazing grace and mercy and restore them after they have cheated on Him. Verse 1 here is part of that restoration. Just like the names of Hosea’s daughter and second son, God should have called the Israelites “not my people” (“Lo-Ruhamah”) and “not my loved one” (Lo-Ammi) because of their unfaithfulness. But because of God’s grace and mercy, the Israelites once again became “My people” and “My loved one” in God’s eyes.
Similarly, as sinners we had no right to be called God’s people or God’s beloved. Yet that is what we are now, all because of the mercy and grace God showed us through Jesus Christ.
Hosea 2:2 (NIV)
2 “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.
Verses 2-4: Here Hosea describes how angry God gets when His people are unfaithful to Him. Like a husband who has been cheated on, God feels a sense of betrayal, a desire to disown His loved one, a desire to shame that person and to reject anything that has to do with that person. What can we learn from this?
God’s wrath against our sin is not just philosophical, but very personal. It hurts God greatly when we are unfaithful to Him.
Hosea 2:5 (NIV)
5 Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’
On verses 5-13: Here Hosea describes how the Lord wants to punish the Israelites for their unfaithfulness. At the same time, these verses I believe describe what our lives look like when we chase something other than God as our number one priority.
How do you know if you’re chasing something other than God and worshiping an idol?
Here are 10 clues from verses 5-13 that you might be worshiping an idol:
1. You chase after people or things as if they are the source of your life and happiness.You give credit to idols when the credit should belong to God. (v5 – “I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.” vs. v8 – “She has now acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold”)
2. You often feel lost, directionless and frustrated with life. It’s as if your path is constantly blocked with thornbushes. (v6 – “I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.”)
3. The people or things you chase — these idols in your life — don’t satisfy you no matter how hard you chase them. (v7 – “She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'”)
4. You often fail to acknowledge that it is God who provides you with the blessings you have in life. (v8 – “She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold– which they used for Baal.”)
5. You miss a lot of the blessings God intended for you because you’re so focused on something other than God. (v9 – “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness.”)
6. You often carry shame when you’re around people. (v10 – “shame before the eyes of her lovers”)
7. True joy and celebration have stopped in your life. (v11 – I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days–all her appointed feasts.”)
8. You often feel like you never have enough in terms of time, money and resources. (v12 – “wild animals will devour your vines and fig trees”).
9. Instead of genuine, loving relationships, you find yourself settling for relationships where people only want to use you and get things from you(v12 – “I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers”)
10. God is an afterthought in your life. You go out of your way to chase after things other than God, but you can hardly get out of bed to be with God. (v13 – “she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot”)
If one or more of the above 10 clues are operating in your life, it’s a signal that you may have left God behind and are worshiping an idol. It’s time to let God reclaim the centre of your life.
Heavenly Father, life sucks when You’re not at the centre of it. But life is full when You are the centre. So come and be the One my life revolves around. Be the One I chase harder than anything else in my life. Come Holy Spirit and fill me today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!