Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. ( Hosea 3)
What does a man do when he is married to a Harlot, who keeps running off , seeking other lovers and their gifts? Her promiscuity has brought her into bondage and made her into a slave!
In this case God told Hosea the prophet to go and redeem her from the slave market she had sold herself into.
The prophet underwent the humiliation of buying back his own wife, for a homer and a half of barley.
He takes her home and tells her, ” I am going to shut you up and away from all of your lovers, none of them shall have you, you are for me exclusively, and I will be yours. But first a long period of cloistering until the time comes for us to be together”.
Hosea then explains the meaning in history of this parable which he is acting out with Gomer the harlot.
There would come a day when there would be no more national Israel, no more temple, priesthood, or King, nor would there be sacrifice, or King, or national symbol. Furthermore there would no more be any idols. Israel would be shut away, and scattered among the nations for many, many days.
At the time Hosea prophesied this, there was an Israel, and a temple and Priesthood, offerings, nationhood, national sovereignty, and symbol. It would be the Babylonian captivity that would cure Israel of the external sin of crass idolatry.
But what is idolatry really, but alienation from God himself?
Hosea was predicting a longer captivity, an obliteration of nation, temple, Kings and Priests.For many days… .
Then there would come a turning point. “Afterwards…”. What happens afterward? Afterwards, Israel returns. She returns in a double sense, first she returns back to the land, but ultimately the return is “Teshuvah”, , a return in the sense of repentance. Israel would one day return to the land physically and subsequently she would come back to the True God and to His Messiah.
In the time of the second return, Israel shall again fear the LORD and his goodness.
When will this return be? “In the latter days…”.
We are currently living in the time between the first return (commencing May 1948 till present) and the second return, which will be the complete repentance and conversion of Israel to God.
Between the wars of 70 ad and 120 ad, the Jewish State was besieged by Roman legionaries, one million Jews were slaughtered and the world’s slave markets were absolutely glutted. The Jewish state was obliterated and Jews were scattered across the face of the earth. There was not another Jewish State in existence until May 1948 when the world witnessed a new state, “The Land Of Israel”. A Nation was born in a day and prophetic events were set in place.
But the population of Israel is secular and even Atheistic for the most part. Israel has returned , but she has not yet returned to her God. She does not yet “seek the LORD her God and David her King (The Messiah) , She is still estranged from her God.
What will it take to bring her back to God in repentance? Nothing less than the great tribulation.
In order for Jesus to come back and establish his rule and reign, Israel must come back to the Land of Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob, and of the Prophets. She must acknowledge her offense against God, before Jesus will ever come back to her.