We’ve made it to the final chapter of Hosea. So let’s recap the big picture of what we’ve seen so far:
Israel (the northern kingdom) has been persistently rebellious against God – chasing after other gods (to provide food) and other nations (to provide security), rather than trusting God. You know, the one who led them into the promised land full of food – giving them tasty desert snacks along the way – and who fought their battles for them. So God is about to hand them over to the consequences of their actions: drought (let’s see how Ba’al goes at providing for you) and conquering armies (how’s that whole Assyrian alliance going?)
Although these consequences will last for some time (many centuries of exile, as it turned out), there are also brief glimpses of hope. Despite being a spurned husband, God will go back out to the wilderness, where it all began, and romance Israel back to himself (ch2), reuniting Israel and Judah in the process. Despite being a rejected parent, God won’t completely give up on his wayward son, bringing him back from exile (ch11).
But still, you have to ask: when God does this, will it be any different next time around? Will his wife still cheat on him? Will his son still rebel?
To address this problem, Hosea uses another image of God, drawn from agriculture, in chapter 14. A chapter in which the good news of God’s saving activity shines through.