Monday, May 16, 2011

Spiritual Adultery - Breaking God's Heart and Drawing His Wrath. A commentary on Hosea 1-2

Hosea commanded to take an unfaithful wife to illustrate spiritual adultery. Spiritual adultery is unfaithfulness to our allegiance and relationship to God. Whenever we look to something or someone else for those things we should look to God for. He is our King, Saviour, and provider, not the nations nor the corporations. Whenever we compromise ourselves spiritually or morally to get things from these worldly sources, we commit spiritual adultery

His adulterous wife, Gomer, has three children by Hosea:
  1. Jezreel (verse 4) – “I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel
  2. Lo-Ruhammah (verse 6,7) - “For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away. Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.”
  3. Lo- Ammi (verse 8) - “For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.”

The cumulative effect is that Israel and Judah are judged, suffer disaster, and become disenfranchised from the rights that pertain to citizenship in the people of God. This disenfranchisement, however, is NOT permanent. Chapter 1 ends with a promise of restoration and regathering of Israel. In verse 10, we read that the very group that was labeled, “not my people”, are subsequently declared “sons of the living God.” When the nation of Israel is restored, they are no longer two nations as they were at the time of Hosea's writing but are once again one nation.

Chapter 2 begins with a command for the children to bring charges against their mother
In verse 1, the Lord is speaking to a select child or select children of Israel. He commands them to bring charges against their mother. This mother is Israel, but who are the children being addressed. To understand who the children are, we need to understand some other cross references to this imagery of Israel as mother.

Revelation 12 begins with the imagery of a woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon and crowned with a crown of 12 stars. This is the image of faithful Israel. Her firstborn child is none other than Jesus Christ, who will rule all nations with a rod of iron. The story of the birth of Christ in Revelation 12 coincides with war in heaven. When Satan is cast out in defeat he wages war against the rest of her offspring which are those who have faith in Jesus Christ.

If the children of faithful Israel are Christ and those who have put their faith in Him, then these children are the same ones being addressed in Hosea 2. This passage is being addressed to us who believe in Christ. We are the children of the free woman described in Galatians 5:22-31.

In vss 24-25 of Galatians 5, however, we are told that there are two covenants and two Jerusalems: “the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.” The Jerusalem that is above corresponds with faithful Israel. The earthly Jerusalem who is in bondage is unfaithful Israel and is referring to those Jews who have rejected Christ.

The faithful children are to speak to the unfaithful children, both of the wannabe Christian and of Jews who have rejected Christ. The faithless Christians are in the same boat as the faithless Jews, having been brought into the family and then running away from the right ways of the Lord. The faithful children are to preach repentance so that the faithless do not suffer dire judgments which are briefly described in verses 3-5.

The charge being levied against unfaithful Israel, but also applies to the unfaithful church - is revealed in verses 5-7b and 9-12: She looks to her lovers for material things – spiritual adultery with the powers of the world. She prostitutes and compromises herself to worldly powers for wealth and power.

How many today make moral compromises on the job to get that promotion- whether it be lying, cheating, and stealing, or possibly literal prostitution where employees have sexual intercourse with their bosses?

How many people today make moral compromises by “voting for the lesser of two evils,” not realizing that caving in result in continued degradation of political norms towards the vile, the bloodthirsty, the corrupt, and the tyrannical? How many people buy into the political spin that lying politicians and their media bed partners feed them?

How many people today defile themselves with the abominations promoted by the media in their entertainment, not realizing the destruction that these debaucheries cause? Numerous marriages have been destroyed because idle minds were corrupted by so-called reality TV programs that paint a distorted picture of sex and relationships. Millions have indulged in pornography and, as a result, have fed the epidemic of sex trafficking and child rape.

How many millions have covered up their wickedness by going to the neighborhood abortionist and butchering the child that was conceived? We are in the midst of a holocaust that makes the Nazi holocaust look tame. Over 1 billion people have been slaughtered, mostly for convenience.

How many in the church or ministry have set their sights on building private empires, turning churches into self help centers rather than places to hear the gospel. How many pastors preach canned sermons that reak with worldly philosophy, psycho-babble and get-rich quick schemes rather than the true gospel? So many churches are ruined, preaching a Christ as a facilitator to help us live fulfilled lives rather a savior who brutally suffered to save us from the just judgment of God.

Why did Christ suffer? Because He loves us. He longs to have a relationship with us. Chapter 2, verse 14 gives  us a sad note For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the LORD People have used God and dumped Him on the side of the road much the way a wayward wife dumps her husband to pursue her lovers who end up turning on her.

The primary reason God's judgment falls on His own people is that we have broken His heart. While He is angry at the abominations that His people have committed, He is mostly heartbroken over our rejection of Him to pursue worthless lovers. He would rather have us reconciled to Him than the do His duty as the Supreme Judge of the Universe. For those who will not repent, there is fierce wrath awaiting them.
The remainder of the chapter is about God wooing His people back. In verse 16, we read that God restores the spiritual marriage. He will take away the idolatry and iniquity and restore the relationship. He must first break down rebellious people before He can rebuild in a way that makes possible a spiritual marriage.

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