From God is “Lord” to “Lover”: Baali to Ishi - HOPE 7 - David Mitts

Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. (Zec 9:12 NASB)

Click here to listen to "Ishi No Longer Baali " 

Last time together, we began to look at how to align ourselves to hope, which the anchor for our soul to our destiny in the Lord. We began to look at Hosea 2 beginning at verse 14. We spoke about how the wilderness, the solitary times in our lives, places where God allures us to speak from His heart.
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her. (Hos 2:14 NASB)

God is the originator of romance. He uses many word pictures to convey His love nature. The most relatable are the ones that connect to our human experience. Alluring is a word connected to passion and speaking to us from the heart with openness and vulnerability. Our God is a jealous God, a possessive and protective lover.

Look with me at Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery and how God describes it:

'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. (Exo 19:4 NASB).

The picture is being covered by His wings. The wings of the eagle are a picture of total safety by totally covering us in our vulnerability and weakness. Look at another use of this love picture:He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. (Psa 91:1-4 NASB)

Wings equal love protection. In the wilderness of our lives, He declares His love.
"Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. "It will come about in that day," declares the LORD, "That you will call Me Ishi And will no longer call Me Baali.(Hos 2:15-16 NASB)

Ishi versus Baali. We spoke about this last week. This is the movement from obedience to love. Hope is greatly affected by the image of whom we entrust with our hope. Relating to God through the doorway of Baali, or as Lord, makes our relationship based on obedience. Even an obedience that is rooted in love is still an obedience that is driven by works and obligation. It is a beginning point but not an endpoint.

"It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,(Deu 11:13 NASB)


"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."(Joh 14:21 NASB)

There is a beginning point of obedience and love like a child obeys their parents as an expression of love. BUT the hope of God is not just about raising children but about His Glory. To move to Glory we have moved beyond Baali to Ishi. Like a child who moves from dependence and obedience with his or her parents to leaving that “home” to “cleave” to their spouse and build a home, we have to leave our relationship of dependence and obedience to the Lord into one of oneness.

Look with me at Eph 5:22-33, one of the most abused passages in the scripture that is very different if you read it in the Baali versus Ishi context:

Wives, (be subject) to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives (ought to be) to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So, husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Eph 5:22-33 NASB)

First, let’s acknowledge that this has been used for instruction in marriage. While it is very powerful in this context, I want to turn it around and also use marriage as a context for hope and destiny. How do we do that? We remove the italicized, added words. Next, we drop the assumption that we know what Christ loving the church means. Let’s consider that the power for husbands to love their wives and wives to be unto their husbands as unto the Lord, comes first and foremost from Christ, The anointed loving the church.

Wives to your husbands as to the Lord. This is drawing our attention that there is something to be learned about our relationship with the Lord from the relationship of a wife to her husband. Does a wife think of her husband as a “lord” or as a “husband”? I think the answer depends on the next line. Husbands love your wives. Husbands are to look to the example of Christ loving us through the example of giving Himself. What does it mean for a husband to give himself?

He tells us as He completes the parallel, He sanctifies her, makes her holy. When you get married the union is an act of holiness. The husband gives himself to his wife and she is now of him. How does that happen? They speak vows, which is called here, the washing with the word, the love alluring of Baali.

In the great chapter of the gospel of John, where Yeshua teaches of the abiding reality, the place where fruit can happen, one sentence can now be seen clearly in this betrothal context, the place of true hope:

"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.(Joh 15:3 NASB)

You see if you open your heart and your eyes to Him as the one who allures for the purpose of moving from “lord” to betrothed, loving husband, then you can see what He could be meaning when He says that we are clean. It isn’t just a forgiving of sin, but the holiness of a marriage vow. As much as we know that ideally, God would want us as a virgin bride, because of the brokenness of our world and who we are in that world, He loves us as we are. He gives Himself and cleanses us, makes us His washes us by the covenant vows of His marriage to us and in that we become to Him pure, unwrinkled, spotless. He makes us through marriage holy and removes the shame, we become blameless.

Now in the place of Baali, we are called “members of His Body”. To clarify what that means He states the original intent:

What I am trying to say is that moving from Baali to Ishi from Jesus as Lord, to the Anointed one and His anointed loving His people is the place of hope, of promise. I think the key is the verse where Paul says that the mystery is great, with respect to Christ and the church. A mystery is like a puzzle which when unlocked, reveals the deeper truth. This is the key of Ishi.

Let’s continue in Hosea 2:17-18:
"For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, (former boyfriends) so that they will be mentioned by their names no more. "In that day I will also make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, The birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety. (Hos 2:17-18 NASB)

This is a promise of true hope. Hidden in this verse is a master key. This is revealed by innocuous term: “creeping things of the ground”. Where have we seen this relationship before? Yes. Genesis 1:26
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."(Gen 1:26 NASB)

This is the authority mandate verse. Stated clearly, but missed by most is the plurality, let us make man in our image. The plurality means we cannot achieve our true hope, our destiny alone. The image of God that we are requires intimacy and trust. Our hope is in our weakness because our weaknesses are where the Ishi, the beloved husband covers us and helps us to be all that we are called to be.
"I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. (Hos 2:19-20 NASB)

Wow! What a promise! Righteousness and justice, lovingkindness and compassion, faithfulness. These are the qualities of His Glory.
Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;(Exo 34:6 NASB)

When God promises to be our husband, He does it with transformative glory. This reveals who He is, we know Him and in that image, we are known. You see He never desired a performance machine, no He desires a more precious thing, tenderness, and humility. When we bring our weaknesses to Him, His love covers and atones for our weaknesses and makes us one with Him in our weakness.

Finishing up Hosea 2

"It will come about in that day that I will respond," declares the LORD. "I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, And they will respond to Jezreel. "I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, And I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they will say, 'You are my God!'"(Hos 2:21-23 NASB)

Responding to the heavens is a reference to binding and loosening which is about forgiveness. The new wine and oil is a picture of abundance. Jezreel means where God sows His seed-words. He finishes up with a declaration of true love. This is Hope!


The key to true hope is becoming free from doubt, being double-minded which comes from self-judgment. So, it returns to being open with our failures and weaknesses. Make a list of what you are afraid people will find out about you. Now let’s write that list down and burn it as an offering declaring our love and trust to Him.


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