"And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali."
I was reading the last of 2nd Nephi this morning, and it talks a lot about the last days, and then opening the Bible seemingly randomly, I found this. There are interesting parallels. One of the things that I really like about these verses is the adultery analogy. In verse 7 it says "And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then it was better with me than now." ... The whole thing seems to be an analogy to Israel: going after other Gods, and putting other things before God is like a woman forsaking her husband to pursue her lovers. ... I think that is one of the most intensely serious sins that we imagine, and that kind of breach of trust seems abhorrent to us, so it is an analogy that hits home. The cool thing is that God wants her back. ... If you left your husband and took a lot of different lovers, I don't think that you would expect kindness and him trying to win you back. So that is a huge thing... God coaxing Israel back. The "valley of Achor" is proverbial for something that causes trouble; that is interesting that trouble=hope here; perhaps our suffering (and resultant repentance?) gives us access to that "door of hope." Verse 16 is cool... Ishi=husband, and Baali=Master, so what it makes me think of is that she won't even look at her marriage as a burden to be escaped anymore (do we feel that way about the church sometimes?), but will rejoice in it. A couple of other verses after this are cool too: "And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. / I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord." ... That verse 20 part about faithfulness is cool. Even after the adultery, he chooses to trust her. I think this is a strong analogy, and it actually illustrates the intimacy and importance of our individual relationships with God--and how much he wants those relationships with us, and how much he is willing to forgive us and trust us again if we repent and return.