Hosea 2:7 MEANING

Hosea 2:7
Verse 7. - And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. This portion of the verse expresses the consequence of the preceding. However eagerly she follows after them - and the form of the verb (Pie! conjugation) expresses that eagerness - she shall only experience the ineffectual nature of her efforts, and feel the impossibility of overtaking the darling objects of her pursuit. However earnestly she seeks them (here the Piel is used again), she shall find every passage barred and every outlet obstructed, so that, unable to find them, she shall be forced to abandon her search as utterly vain and impossible. Then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. The difficulties of her position, the distress in which she found herself, stimulated her to increased eagerness in pursuit of her lovers; but it was only for a brief space, and the efforts were unsuccessful; the means as well as opportunity for the sacrifices and services of idol-worship failed, the obstacles placed in her way were insurmountable. Or, rather, the disappointment was so great and grievous, when all the fondly cherished hopes of help, or succor, or support from those idols were frustrated and found entirely vain, that heartsick and chagrined by unsuccess, she resolves on a change of course. With mingled feelings of remorse and penitence she makes up her mind to retrace her steps. She recalls the better days, the happier time, the more prosperous circumstances, of fidelity to her first and rightful husband and head; and now she is just ready to return to him. She is just now at that stage at which the prodigal in the parable had arrived "when He came to himself," and when he said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father." Kimchi remarks," She will not say this until she has borne the captivity a considerable time."

2:6-13 God threatens what he would do with this treacherous, idolatrous people. They did not turn, therefore all this came upon them; and it is written for admonition to us. If lesser difficulties be got over, God will raise greater. The most resolute in sinful pursuits, are commonly most crossed in them. The way of God and duty is often hedged about with thorns, but we have reason to think it is a sinful way that is hedged up with thorns. Crosses and obstacles in an evil course are great blessings, and are to be so accounted; they are God's hedges, to keep us from transgressing, to make the way of sin difficult, and to keep us from it. We have reason to bless God for restraining grace, and for restraining providences; and even for sore pain, sickness, or calamity, if it keeps us from sin. The disappointments we meet with in seeking for satisfaction from the creature, should, if nothing else will do it, drive us to the Creator. When men forget, or consider not that their comforts come from God, he will often in mercy take them away, to bring them to think upon their folly and danger. Sin and mirth can never hold long together; but if men will not take away sin from their mirth, God will take away mirth from their sin. And if men destroy God's word and ordinances, it is just with him to destroy their vines and fig-trees. This shall be the ruin of their mirth. Taking away the solemn seasons and the sabbaths will not do it, they will readily part with them, and think it no loss; but He will take away their sensual pleasures. Days of sinful mirth must be visited with days of mourning.And she shall follow after her lovers,.... Before mentioned; that is, in her affections and desires, with great eagerness and earnestness, as men pursue what they are bent upon; otherwise, being hedged in and walled up, she could not go after them in a proper sense:

but she shall not overtake them; they fleeing from her, and she pent up:

she shall seek them, but shall not find them; shall not be able to enjoy them, or act according to her wishes and desires, with respect to the performance of sacrifices, rites, and ceremonies, as before observed:

then shall she say; in her heart, finding all endeavours fruitless, and that the things sought after were never to be had; the hedges and wall, the obstructions in the way, were never to be removed, while in such a pursuit; wherefore after a long time, many hundreds of years, even in the latter day, being convinced of her sin and folly in rejecting Christ, and pursuing after other objects, she will take up the following resolution:

I will go and return to my first husband; either the God of Israel, whom the ten tribes departed from by worshipping the calves Jeroboam set up; but in the latter day will seek the Lord their God again, who was a husband to them, and shall cleave to him again, and all Israel shall be saved: so the Targum,

"I will go and return to the service of my first master, for it was well with me when I served him; henceforth I will not serve idols:''

or Christ, who was promised and prophesied of as a husband to the Jewish church, Isaiah 54:5 and whom they believed in, and expected as such, but when he came rejected him; but now being convinced of their error shall seek David their King, appoint themselves one head, and embrace Christ as their husband, and adhere to him; see Hosea 3:5,

for then was it better with me than now; while in the faith, and hope, and expectation of the true Messiah; having a spiritual apprehension of him, true faith in him, and comfort from him, as held forth in the promise; being then possessed of the good land, in the enjoyment of the word and ordinances, and of all religious and civil privileges, but now deprived of them. This may be applied to the case of true believers in Christ, having partially departed from him, and being restored. Christ is a husband to them, who has betrothed them to himself, and they have given themselves to him, and have been loved, nourished, cherished, and provided for by him, and for a while had much nearness, familiarity, and communion with him; but unbelief prevailing, first love waxing cold, and being got into a carnal and sleepy frame, neglect both private and public worship, fall into sin, and removed from church communion, and so may be said to have departed from Christ their husband; but being recovered by divine grace, and sensible of their sins, resolve to return to him again by repentance and acknowledgment, by doing their first works, and by attendance on his word and ordinances; instigated hereunto very much by remembering how it has been with them when they kept close to him, and observing the difference between those times and the present; how they had then the presence of God and Christ, and communion with them, and the secret discoveries of the love of God; in what lively exercise the graces of the Spirit were; what delight and profit they had in ordinances, and what peace, joy, and comfort, in their souls; all which now they want; see Job 29:2.

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