Come back?

Hosea 2:2
"Contend with your mother, contend,
For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband;
And let her put away her harlotry from her face
And her adultery from between her breasts,
(3) Or I will strip her naked
And expose her as on the day when she was born.
I will also make her like a wilderness,
Make her like desert land
And slay her with thirst.
(4) "Also, I will have no compassion on her children,
Because they are children of harlotry.
(5) "For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, 'I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'
Who is speaking? Is it God talking about the nation of Israel? Is it Hosea talking about Gomer? As you read on, it would appear it is God speaking but using language that Hosea would use speaking about his wayward wife, Gomer.

In any case, isn't this anger justified? Yet, what do we see next?
(6)"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns,
And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.
(7)"She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them;
And she will seek them, but will not find them.
Then she will say, 'I will go back to my first husband,
For it was better for me then than now!'
(8) "For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil,
And lavished on her silver and gold,
Which they used for Baal.
There is obvious anger here. There is clearly punishment and consequences to the waywardness. Yet, the anger is not to destroy. In these steps, do you hear the call and the hope, "Come back?" The call to return is explicit later in Hosea 2:14.

A few words about Baal.

Baal was the local deity in Canaan. Baal was the god of the weather and fertility. It translates to our word, "Lord." Baal was often made into idol form as a bull symbolic of fertility and strength. Other gods in the polytheism of Canaan was Ashtoreth who was the consort to Baal. Ashtoreth was the goddess of war and fertility. Ashtoreth was worshiped as Ishtar in Babylon and can be recognized in the Greek goddess Aphrodite and Venus of the Roman polytheism. There was also Asherah the consort to El, the chief god in their pantheon.

So imagine God's view after having given the wife/people of Israel/us grain, wine, oil, silver and gold only to find those gifts used in the worship of Baal?

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