Hosea 3

1 The LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so towards you.” 4 For the children of Israel shall live many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-3

The dislike of men to true religion is because they love objects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead of mortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God should have good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him! Here is represented God’s gracious dealings with the fallen race of mankind, that had gone from him. This is the covenant of grace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to him a people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept the punishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it is a certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us, when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of an afflicted state.

Verses 4-5

Here is the application of the parable to Israel. They must long sit like a widow, stripped of all joys and honours; but shall at length be received again. Those that would seek the Lord so as to find him, must apply to Christ, and become his willing people. Not only are we to fear the Lord and his greatness, but the Lord and his goodness; not only his majesty, but his mercy. Even Jewish writers apply this passage to the promised Messiah; doubtless it foretold their future conversion to Christ, for which they are kept a separate people. Though the first fear of God arise from a view of his holy majesty and righteous vengeance, yet the experience of mercy and grace through Jesus Christ, will lead the heart to reverence so kind and glorious a Friend and Father, and to fear offending him.

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