Hosea speaks from the very heart of God. God yearns to buy back his people from their self imposed slavery and free them from the lies they tell about themselves and the God whose name they are supposed to hold sacred.
I long to redeem them but they tell lies against me.
God wants to comfort the aching hearts of his people, but they turn their faces from him.
They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds.
He wants to be the reason for their parties and bring them joy deeper and fuller than they have ever dreamed of.
They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. Hosea 7:13.
God raised them up to serve him and reflect his glory, but they used the goodness he brought to turn against him.
I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. Hosea 7:15
He longed to see their hearts turned towards him and be saved from death. Instead, they self destructed.
They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt. Hosea 7:16
I read the story of a man whose father sold him into slavery years after the Civil War (The Emancipation of Robert Sadler). Robert Sadler learned to live to please his sadistic torturer of a master. When he finally escaped, he struggled with learning how to live as a free man. At one point, he even went back to try and serve his master. As crazy as that sounds, I can be just like Mr. Sadler and the people of Israel and Judah. I know where true freedom lives and I am quite capable of turning away and walking the opposite direction if it were not for the patient and persistent voice of Jesus calling me back. Amazing grace.