A New Contract… A Renewed Covenant.
The prophet enters into a new contract, representing the gracious manner in which God will again restore Israel under a new covenant.
A call for renewed Covenant (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.– Mathew Henry Concise Commentary
V. 1…a woman… Though the name of the woman is not mentioned here, God is still talking about Gomer, wife of Hosea. It is not about another woman because God is still talking about the Nation of Israel, God is pursuing. So, God renews the call of Hosea to love his wife who has returned to her immoral life-style. …love of the LORD for the children of Israel…God says that HE still loves the people of Israel, His spiritual unfaithful wife. …loves the raisin cakes of the pagan… It may be a ritual food in the Canaanite cult.
V. 2…bought her… A slave’s price is 30 shekels, so Hosea pays part of the price in silver and part in goods.
V. 3…you shall stay with me many days … This is a God-appointed forced extensive segregation, a period of absence of those things that constituted Israel’s whoredom. This waiting period is a period of sanctification and cleansing. Also, v. 4 infers us that this waiting period refers to the time of exile which is for a time of repentance and sanctification.
The application of the parable to Israel Verses (4-5):
V. 4…many days without king or prince, sacrifice,…sacred pillar,…ephod… This refers to the exilic period where they wouldn’t have a king of their own, and now prescribed worship system. In verse 3, God says, “so too, will I be towards you,” which means that God also wait for them during this trying times. …without…teraphim. Teraphims were household gods’ images which are forbidden by God. During their baal worship they had them, so God is telling them that they should avoid those teraphims also. If they don’t continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted in.” Rom. 11:23.
V. 5…David, their king… This is significant for Israel, the northern Kingdom, for they have revolted against the David’s line for more than 200 years. Rejecting David’s line is to reject God’s covenant with David. So, turning back to call David, their King is a must in order to participate in God’s covenant fully. It was the intention of God to honor HIS covenant with David (2 Sam 7:8-16). The Supreme King for God’s people will come, as the son of David. Seeking David, their King on top of seeking God, the Father is seeking the Son of David to be their Savior.
The application of this chapter:
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. – Mathew Henry Concise Commentary.