Hosea 3:1 (AMP)
THEN SAID the Lord to me, Go again, love [the same] woman [Gomer] who is beloved of a paramour and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [used in the sacrificial feasts in idol worship].
The Lord speaks to Hosea again to find Gomer, bring her home, and love her; Hosea obeys. He finds her enslaved and waiting to be sold to pay back her debtors.
Like Gomer, the nation of Israel had to be in a state of mind that there was nothing out there for them and they started to miss the days of the past; their rituals, family. The things that were truly important in life.
At times, the only way the Lord can get our attention is to allow us to feel enslaved by the actions we take. He will remove His hand of protection to allow us to feel the heat of our disobedience. It seems that when we’re at our lowest, is when we want to search for God and make things right.
Hosea 3:3 (AMP)
And I said to her, You shall be [betrothed] to me for many days; you shall not play the harlot and you shall not belong to another man. So will I also be to you [until you have proved your loyalty to me and our marital relations may be resumed].
The nation and Gomer’s marriage would resume as normal. But there would be a time to rebuild that trust again; God with His people and Hosea with his wife, Gomer.
Everyone involved went through a tough time; Israel, Hosea, Gomer, and the children. Just like in any relationship, the trust has to be built up in order to have the God given relationship that was intended to be. A forbidden boundary was crossed and it needed to be corrected. This would be a time of reflection, reconciliation, and restoration.
Reflection – to think quietly and calmly
Reconciliation – to restore to friendship or harmony: settle, resolve.
Restoration – to bring back to or put back into a former or original state: renew
Hosea 3:4-5 (AMP)
4For the children of Israel shall dwell and sit deprived many days, without king or prince, without sacrifice or [idolatrous] pillar, and without ephod [a garment worn by priests when seeking divine counsel] or teraphim (household gods).5Afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek the Lord their God, [inquiring of and requiring Him] and [from the line of] David, their King [of kings]; and they shall come in [anxious] fear to the Lord and to His goodness and His good things in the latter days.
We see God again using his prophets as examples to symbolize the state of the nation.
The nation again is caught up in it’s sins. God uses Ezekiel to act out the vision the Lord has given him and through a series of enactments, he’s showing them what is about to happen to the nation as they go into Babylonian captivity.
Up to now, Ezekiel is silent and listening to all the instructions the Lord is giving him. But as He speaks in regards to eating human dung, Ezekiel begins to speak.
Ezekiel 4:14-15 (AMP)
14Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I have never defiled myself. From my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dies of itself or is torn in pieces; neither did there ever come abominable flesh into my mouth. 15Then He said to me, Behold, I will let you use cow’s dung instead of human dung, and you shall prepare your food with it.
It’s not easy serving the Lord. There are times we’ll have to get into the pit with those we’re trying to reach out to. The beauty of this is that He won’t allow us to go there if we’re not prepared to handle, take care of business, and come out victoriously.
God knew he could depend on Hosea and Ezekiel to get the job done.
Ezekiel 4:16-17 (AMP)
16Moreover, He said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread [by which life is supported] in Jerusalem; and they shall eat bread rationed by weight and with fearfulness, and they shall drink water rationed by measure and with dismay (silent, speechless grief caused by the impending starvation), 17In order that they may lack bread and water and look at one another in dismay and waste away [in their punishment] for their iniquity.