Reading Hosea.2

by admin on November 16, 2014

Reflections for 9 November 2014
Hosea 2

The Dawn Seymour WAAC. As a senior at Cornell she had a professor who recruited her for the air corp. For the first time ever he took her up in a plane and introduced her to a world literally beyond herself. High above the clouds, vista miles long in every direction, lay of the land. She was hooked. Her teacher took the chance to give her a new vision and she lived it out for the rest of her life.

Hosea is like that. Vision of something beyond the ordinary human way of dealing with ordinary human predicaments. Riley: what a revolting development this is.

Presentation of Hosea’s speeches designed to call Israel to return to her first love—Yahweh. Hosea is speaker; Israel is recipient.

Statements of judgment are rhetorical in nature designed to call for Israel’s return and restoration. Series of introductory imperative statements that indicate a 4-part structure to the book.

1. 2:3-3:5 Hosea’s appeal for the mother’s return via kids.
2. 4:1-19Yahweh’s basic contentions against Israel.
3. 5:1-13:6 Specifications of Yahweh’s contentions.
4. 14:1-8 Call for Israel’s return to Yahweh.

Overall text is designed to convince audience that reconciliation between Yahweh and Israel is possible. (Flaws are not fatal and failures are not final.)

Vv1-5⇒ The kids are caught.
Vv6-8⇒ Misguided pursuit of lovers = misdirected religious affections
Vv9-13⇒ The consequences of religious infidelity. Israel’s creed: Deuteronomy 26 liturgical significance of a creed. Yahweh delivered us from Egypt; he sustained us in the wilderness; he blessed us with and in this new land. Yahweh’s complaint here is that Israel attributes blessings to Baal. (Fertility rites are designed to win blessing from deity) Vv14-23⇒ This marriage can be saved. A second honeymoon.

1. Vision of something beyond ourselves. Does this God thing ever really challenge the way you think and act? Garrison Keillor: your theology wasn’t happy about the idea of mercy and forgiveness, which only gave comfort to enemies, and so, although you recited the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday, you remembered your debtors and managed not to speak to certain people….

Forgiveness and compassion are more than just nice ideas. Jesus Sermon on the Mount is meant to become the very fabric of life.

Hosea speaks of an all too common dilemma and gives an alternative route to managing emotions by seeing them through to a more productive conclusion.

2. Relationships are difficult. Are there any moves that can build towards success and happiness? Daniel Wile: we always marry a different set of problems. John Gottman: 31% resolvable; 69% perpetual. What’s that say?

Take stock of your personal involvements. Don’t take your serious relationships for granted. Which ones energize you? Deplete you? Every relationship has the potential of changing you and them. Once again the theme: Religious lie is personal and relational. Our grounding gives us our life story and our operating principles. The fancy psychological word is attachment. This can be a great source of strength and empowerment or an albatross around our necks.
Relationships are hard work so tend to your self-management.

3. Marriage is work. Yahweh is work. Spiritual formation is ongoing process. Religious vitality is not based on a check list program. We live in aftermath of Enlightenment—who needs God. And the Great Awakenings—all you got to do is kneel down and say a certain prayer. Discipleship is missing altogether. Dallas Willard calls our present take of Christian faith: sin management. I call it vaccination: just enough of Jesus to make us immune from the real thing.

Do you have a plan for your spiritual formation?

Take a change on the news that Hosea is telling.

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