Hosea part 3 - speaking tenderly in the wilderness

Throughout Hosea, we see sin for what it is - adultery against God. As a result of that continued adultery, God is going to act, there are going to be serious consequences, it's not going to be a nice experience. But he's not doing it to get his own back, he's doing it out of love to draw his people back to himself.

He says "I will allure her, and bring  her into the wilderness and speak to her tenderly" 2:14. He is taking them into the hard places, into difficulties so that they can hear His voice again. Hosea says that "He has torn us that He may heal us" 6:1. God is hurting them in order to heal them, there is no other way, they haven't responded to the warnings. 14:8 reminds the people that it is God who looks after them, not idols.The hard times will show them how powerless their idols are and make them turn back to God. Chapter 14 also talks about how God will heal/love/turn His anger away, He will be like dew/blossom/roots in contrast to the fruitless land described earlier. God's compassion comes from His love for the people, not from anything they have done 11:8-9. They are continuing in their adultery, but God is bringing a day when they will call God their husband again 2:16.

How does this relate to us? We have been unfaithful to God. This isn't a relationship that is breaking down due to fault on both sides. This is one side being totally in the right and one side totally in the wrong. On a human level, we would never advise the person in God's position to take us back, we're just going to do the same thing again. But He does make a way for us to come back. It's painful, because we've forgotten Him and looked elsewhere at little "things" that take over our life, and He will strip those things away, rip them out of our hands, shatter those idols to draw our attention off them and back onto Him. But if we think it's painful for us, it's not easy for Him. It cost Jesus His life to bring us back. God would say the same thing to us as He says to the people in 14:8 "Oh Israel, give up your idols, It is I who answers you and looks after you. I am like a tree that is always green. All your fruit comes from me"