For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. — Hosea 2:8
Have you ever been the recipient of a gift from an unidentified giver?
Occasionally groups of women will choose to have “secret pals.” They draw names, and challenge themselves to give each other gifts without their “pals” finding out who gave them. At times, even handwriting is disguised or gifts are delivered by uninvolved persons in order to keep the secret.
Some years ago when a young woman was ill with cancer, a family chose to surprise her with small gifts of tiny angels of every shape and description for the twelve days before Christmas. Daily, they secretly left the presents, and the woman was extremely curious as to who was responsible for these delights.
One of the challenges of receiving anonymous gifts is knowing who to thank. Secret pal groups generally last for a designated time, and then the names are revealed. At that point, proper thanks can be given. The sick woman eventually discovered the family who was giving her the angels and warmly expressed what pleasure they had brought her.
In our focus verse, Hosea expressed frustration that Gomer was not recognizing how her needs were being met. Even beyond her needs perhaps, Hosea had given her gold and silver. Yet, instead of a heart of thankfulness toward him, she continued to worship idols, thinking they were the source of her material possessions. Not only was she not thanking the real giver, but she was praising the wrong giver!
God was also sending a message to Israel. They had bountiful material wealth — they were a very wealthy nation at this point — and yet they were worshiping Baal and thanking him for their success.
We may not be worshiping Baal today, but it is certainly possible to misdirect our praise and thankfulness. We, like Gomer, should know Who sends our blessings. And yet, our culture has become caught up in the concept that we can do anything if we put our minds to it. If that were true, it would mean that if we succeed, we would deserve the glory.
Let’s regularly remind ourselves that God is the source of our blessings. If we are consistent in worshiping and thanking Him, we will be much more likely to stay close to Him. We must give Him the praise He deserves!
This passage of Scripture details both the personal lives of Hosea and Gomer, and the trespasses of Israel toward God. Gomer went whole-heartedly into a life of adultery. Although some of her desires were not wrong, (bread, water, oil, wool, flax), she sought them in the wrong manner and from the wrong source. She did not realize that Hosea was the source of her blessings. Similarly, Israel, who was spiritually unfaithful, sought to worship idols rather than the one true God, mistaking the source of their blessings.
“The valley of Achor” is where Achan’s sin was discovered when Israel was defeated in their first battle with Ai. This reference indicated that just as God forgave Israel once the sin was dealt with, Gomer would also be forgiven if she dealt with her sin and put it away from her.
The term Ishi in verse 16 is a loving term of affection, while the term Baali is similar to one that servants would use toward their masters, or worshipers toward their idols. God was pointing out that his relationship with Israel would be a deep, loving, close relationship, not a distant masterful one.
The flagons of wine mentioned in verse 1 were cakes made of grapes.
While living on her own for at least some of her absence from Hosea’s household, Gomer must have sold herself into slavery. Hosea bought Gomer back for a pitifully small amount. This amount illustrated the depths to which she had stooped. A common price for a slave was thirty pieces of silver; yet Hosea paid only fifteen pieces and some barley, a food which was only suitable for animals.
God commanded Hosea to purchase back his wife, indicating that even adultery cannot dissolve the bond of marriage.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. Prologue: the prophet’s marriage
B. Jehovah’s chastening (2:2-23)
1. His rejection of Israel (2:2-5)
2. His retribution upon Israel (2:6-13)
3. His restoration of Israel (2:14-23)
a. Conversion promised (2:14-17)
b. Covenant blessings renewed (2:18-23)
C. Hosea’s care (3:1-5)
1. The Lord’s instruction (3:1)
2. The prophet’s action (3:2-3)
3. The prophetical significance (3:4-5)
Let’s be sure to remember where our blessings come from and express our thankfulness to God alone.