Hosea 2:14-18
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably to her.…

Wonderful are the steps of Divine love in the history of the recovery of a soul. View those which are here presented.

I. WILDERNESS PREPARATION. (Ver. 14.) Chastisement would prepare the way for mercy. Israel was to be taken out "into the wilderness." There, deprived of her idols, and stripped of her earthly blessings, she would bethink herself of the God from whom she had departed. It takes much discipline, oftentimes, to bring us into the state of mind in which we are willing to listen to God. Pride needs to be humbled; self-will needs to be broken; the heart built up in self-righteousness needs to be convinced of sin. To this end God employs trials, hardships, crosses, bereavements, sorrows of various kinds. He trains us by the wilderness.

II. DIVINE ALLUREMENT. (Ver. 15.) We are led here to study the operations of Divine love under the character of allurement. "I will allure her." Allurement is the art of reaching the heart by soft influences. It is not compulsion. It is not conviction by argument. It is a persuasive, drawing influence exerted on the affections and will. It is gentle, not violent; it is mild, not passionate. It conquers by the might of love. Some persons have more of this power of attraction, of fascination, than others. It is a gift - an influence, emanating from the personality. It cannot be communicated. The Divine Spirit is the great Allurer. His dealings with a soul are a secret between that soul and himself. God allures:

1. By solitude. "I will bring her into the wilderness." He takes the soul apart by itself, he isolates it, as he did Israel when he spoke with her at first (Exodus 19:3-5). We cannot hear God's voice amidst the busy hum of earth. Our own age stands much in need of more solitary communion.

2. By word. "I will speak comfortably unto her." The words of God are found in Scripture. How well fitted the Bible, with its gracious, tender, comforting, reassuring utterances, is for this purpose of allurement, we all know. It is shaped and adapted in every way to draw the soul to God.

3. By gift. "I will give her her vineyards from thence." The typical blessings shadow out the higher. God attests his love to us by gift as well as by word. He has given his Son (John 3:16). He gives himself. He gives all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). He gives eternity. Christ is "the unspeakable Gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15). "All things are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:21).

4. By chastisement. "And the valley of Achor for a door of hope." The valley of Achor lay at the entrance of Canaan. It was there that God "troubled" Israel for the sin of Achan (Joshua 7.). That sin barred the entrance to the land, and only when it was judged and removed could Israel proceed. The meaning is that, so often as sin bars the way to the possession of the inheritance, and brings down chastisement, so often will grace, working through judgment on the sin, bring good out of evil, and new hope out of the experience of sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). Israel, after the sin had been put away, received a pledge of the Divine presence with them for future victories. "In this relation the Lord here promises that the place of sanctified trial shall not only be a re, on of endurance, but a door of hope." Trouble becomes a means of spiritual profiting.

5. God's allurement begets joy. "She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth," etc. God puts a new song in the mouths of his people (Psalm 40:1, 2). It is, as in the triumph at the Red Sea, a song

(1) of deliverance;

(2) of victory. The song of Moses and the Lamb (Revelation 15.). The joy is the greater after the sorrow (Revelation 7:9-17).

III. HOLIER ESPOUSALS. (Vers. 16, 17.) Won by the Divine allurements, Israel ratifies a new marriage covenant with Jehovah. The new union is very different from the older one. It is a union marked:

1. By earnest affection. "Thou shalt call me Ishi" - "my Husband."

2. By purified feeling. "And shalt no mere call me Baali" - "my Baal." Israel's feelings towards Jehovah would be purged of all idolatrous associations.

3. By sincere abhorrence of the past. "I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth." So does the sinner shudder at the very thought of the things which formerly pleased him. They are hateful to him. He would count it a shame even to speak of those things in secret (Ephesians 5:12).

4. By jealous care for the future. "They shall no more be remembered by their name." Israel would guard, in her future relations with Jehovah, against the intrusion of even the thought of her former paramours. - J.O.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.

WEB: "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.

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