My devotionals in November and early December typically include some prophets, along with the story of John the Baptists family and conception. A few days ago, through a cross reference, I found the book of Hosea.
Hosea uses strong images of Yahwehs seduction and marriage with His people.
I shall put an end to all her merrymaking,
her festivals, her New Moons and her Sabbaths
and all her solemn feasts.
I shall make her vines and fig trees derelict
of which she used to say,
‘These are the pay my lovers gave me.’
I shall turn them into a jungle:
wild animals will feed on them.
I mean to make her pay for the feast-days
on which she burnt incense to the Baals,
when she tricked herself out in her earrings and necklaces
to chase after her lovers,
and forget me!
But look, I am going to seduce her
and lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
There I shall give her back her vineyards,
and make the Vale of Achor a gateway of hope.
There she will respond as when she was young,
as on the day when she came up from Egypt.When that day comes
you will call me, ‘My husband’,
no more will you call me, ‘My Baal’.
Hosea 2:1318, New Jerusalem Bible
Today my eyes were especially opened by:
When that day comes I shall make a treaty for them with the wild animals,
with the birds of heaven and the creeping things of the earth;
I shall break the bow and the sword
and warfare, and banish them from the country,
and I will let them sleep secure.
I shall betroth you to myself for ever,
I shall betroth you in uprightness and justice,
and faithful love and tenderness.
Yes, I shall betroth you to myself in loyalty
and in the knowledge of Yahweh.
When that day comes, I shall respond
I shall respond to the heavens
and they will respond to the earth
and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil……….
Hosea 2:2024, New Jerusalem Bible
Maybe it was the Gregorian Chants I had playing, but no messianic vision has ever struck my chords as well as this one. It helps me understand how the Messianic yearning included a hope and need for unity with creation.