This remarkable chapter is filled with warning, chastisement, and blessing from the Lord to His people.  Verses 1-3 say, “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-hamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.”  It appears that the message is first sent to the faithful ones of Israel.  They are to call out to their brothers “Ammi” (my people) and to their sisters (my loved one).  Then the messengers are to plead with their mother (the nation of Israel) about her whoredoms and adulteries against the Lord.  The Lord warns that He will strip her naked and take her to a dry wilderness.

In verses 6-13, Israel’s way is to be hedged up with thorns.  A wall of separation is to be raised to keep her from her lovers.  Israel, forgetting that all her blessing and provisions come from the Lord, will follow after her lovers.  This is speaking of the nation and the idol worship they involved themselves with.  Because of her unfaithfulness, the Lord deals harshly with Israel.

Yet immediately after speaking of her punishment, the Lord begins to give them the assurance of His future mercy.  The Lord of love will not abandon His people forever, and though Israel has played the harlot for so long, with no inclination to return unto Him, He Himself in infinite love is going to woo her back.  How deep and great is the Lord’s love for His people.  It really defies logic, does it not?  Yet, the Lord is faithful despite our unfaithfulness.  The fact that you have recognized that the Lord is “showing His mercy and forgiveness once again to Israel,” is a wonderful thing to see.  It speaks volumes to us about our Lord.  We read in Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

It shows us that the Lord is compassionate towards us.  His mercies are continually being renewed each day.  Is He less compassionate us to, His church?  Have His mercies towards us been exhausted?  No, they continue to be new every morning!

The greatest fulfillment of this chapter shall be realized when the Lord restores Israel, which is an event that will occur during the seven-year Tribulation period.  Romans 11:15 says, “For if the casting away of them (Israel) be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” In that day all the great covenant blessings will return to redeemed Israel. Concerning Israel and their unfaithfulness, we read in Hosea 1:9, “Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.”  Yet in that day, Israel will no more be called Lo-ammi, but they will be “His people” and He will be “their God,” while the redeemed nation itself will be a blessing in the earth. (408.2)