on Hosea 2 :14
I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her - After inflicting many judgments upon her, I will restore her again. I will deal with her as a very affectionate husband would do to an unfaithful wife. Instead of making her a public example, he takes her in private, talks to and reasons with her; puts her on her good behavior; promises to pass by all, and forgive all, if she will now amend her ways. In the meantime he provides what is necessary for her wants and comfortable support, and thus opening a door of hope for her, she may be fully reconciled; rejoice as at the beginning, when he first took her by the hand, and she became his bride. This is most probably the simple meaning of the above metaphorical expressions. The valley on Achor was very fruitful; it lay to the north of Jericho, not far from Gilgal See Isaiah 65:10.
on Hosea 2 :14
Therefore - The inference is not what we should have expected. Sin and forgetfulness of God are not the natural causes of, and inducements to mercy. But God deals not with us, as we act one to another. Extreme misery and degradation revolt man; man's miseries invite God's mercies. God therefore has mercy, not because we deserve it, but because we need it. He therefore draws us, because we are so deeply sunken. He prepareth the soul by those harder means, and then the depths of her misery cry to the depths of His compassion, and because chastisement alone would stupify her, not melt her, He changes His wrath into mercy, and speaks to the heart which, for her salvation, He has broken.
I will allure her - The original word is used of one readily enticed, as a simple one, whether to good or ill. God uses, as it were, Satan's weapons against himself. As Satan had enticed the soul to sin, so would God, by holy enticements and persuasiveness, allure her to Himself. God too hath sweetnesses for the penitent soul, far above all the sweetnesses of present earthly joys; much more, above the bitter sweetnesses of sin.
I Myself will allure her - (Such is the emphasis). God would show her something of His Beauty, and make her taste of His Love, and give her some such glimpse of the joy of His good-pleasure, as should thrill her and make her, all her life long, follow after what had, as through the clouds, opened upon her.
And will bring her into the wilderness - God, when he brought Israel out of Egypt, led her apart from the pressure of her hard bondage, the sinful self-indulgences of Egypt and the abominations of their idolatries, into the wilderness, and there, away from the evil examples of the nation from which he drew her and of those whom she was to dispossess, He gave her His law, and taught her His worship, and brought her into covenant with Himself (see Ezekiel 20:34-36). So in the beginning of the Gospel, Christ allured souls by His goodness in His miracles, and the tenderness of His words, and the sweetness of His preaching and His promises, and the attractiveness of His sufferings, and the mighty manifestations of His Spirit. So is it with each penitent soul. God, by privation or suffering, turns her from her idols, from the turmoil of the world and its distractions, and speaks, Alone to her alone.
And speak to her heart - Literally, on her heart, making an impression on it, soothing it, in words which will dwell in it, and rest there. Thus within, not without, "He putteth His laws in the mind, and writeth them in the heart, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God" Hebrews 8:10; 2 Corinthians 3:3. God speaks to the heart, so as to reach it, soften it, comfort it, tranquilize it, and, at the last, assure it. He shall speak to her, not as in Sinai, amid "blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more Hebrews 12:18-19, but to the heart." But it is in solitude that he so speaks to the soul and is heard by her, warning, reproving, piercing, penetrating through every fold, until he reaches the very inmost heart and dwells there. And then he infuseth hope of pardon, kindleth love, enlighteneth faith, giveth feelings of child-like trust, lifteth the soul tremblingly to cleave to Him whose voice she has heard within her. Then His infinite Beauty touches the heart; His Holiness, Truth, mercy, penetrate the soul; in silence and stillness the soul learns to know itself and God, to repent of its sins, to conquer self; to meditate on God. "Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" 2 Corinthians 6:17.
: "Search we the Scriptures, and we shall find, that seldom or never hath God spoken in a multitude; but so often as he would have anything known to man, He shewed Himself, not to nations or people, but to individuals, or to very few, and those severed from the common concourse of people, or in the silence of the night, in fields or solitudes, in mountains or vallies. Thus He spake with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, and all the prophets. Why is it, God always speaketh in secret, except that He would call us apart? Why speaketh He with a few, except to collect and gather us into one? In this solitude doth God speak to the soul, from the beginning of its conversion to the loneliness of death. Here the soul, which, overspread with darkness, knew neither God nor itself, learns with a pure heart to know God. Here, placed aloft, she sees all earthly things flee away beneath her, yea, herself also passing away in the sweeping tide of all passing things." Here she learns, and so unlearns her sins, sees and hates herself, sees and loves God. : Only "the solitude of the body availeth not, unless there be the solitude of the heart." And if God so speak to the penitent, much more to souls, who consecrate themselves wholly, cleave wholly to Him, meditate on Him. By His presence , "the soul is renewed, and cleaving, as it were, to Him, feels the sweetness of an inward taste, spiritual understanding, enlightening of faith, increase of hope, feeling of compassion, zeal for righteousness, delight in virtue. She hath in orison familiar converse with God, feeling that she is heard, and mostly answered: speaking face to face with God, and bearing what God speaketh in her, constraining God in prayer and sometimes prevailing."
on Hosea 2 :14
2:14 I will allure - I will incline her mind to consider what I propose. Into the wilderness - Deep distress.