Israel will reap what it sows. An eagle is over the house of the Lord is symbolic that Assyria is about to conquer Israel . By the way, when you read this, Ephraim is synonymous with Israel, being the largest tribe in the North the names are interchangeable. Chapter 8 verse 11 really hit my heart as something we collectively as Christians are guilty of:
“Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
these have become altars for sinning.
We have made many Christian tokens, charms, rosaries, candles, statues, places, or rituals that we think are pleasing to the Lord because they were once created for the Lord, but have become a sinful way of idolatry and worship.
So as I read on I got very sad. Are the warnings over? All the other prophets have a “warning” about them, but not Hosea. What I am reading is a recount of some of the sinning that I truly had forgotten about. And now Hosea is saying…it’s gonna happen! I fell back into the book of Judges in thought, he raised up Judge after Judge and they always went back to their old ways. Well, we have had warning after warning…..God is Patient!!! and Israel had sunk deeper and deeper obviously into a sinful nation. (ummm I think you can read into the present day prophecy on this).
If you write in your Bible go to Chapter 9
- 9:9 Gibeah…flip to Judges 20:8 and reread the story of the concubine being offered up for rape.
- 9:10 Baal Peor…Numbers 25, when the Israelite had worship sex with the Moabite, and Phineas stabbed them in the act!
- 9:15, once a religious city where Saul was anointed, now a capital of Baal worship
And then by Chapter 10 Verse 2 caught me because through Kings and Chronicles each new king was introduced and then it would say “He did not take down the high places of worship, or the alters…” so in Hosea 10 it finally says “the Lord will demolish them”, and then goes on to remind the people..King or NO King it does not matter because MAN will always disappoint!! Their is only 1 King that will never break HIS promise! (Give me a J….Give me and E….)
Chapter 11 in my Bible is called “God’s Love for Israel”. And I had to stop and think about that for a minute. I am reading about how He is about to let Assyria attack, capture and exile His People! And there is no doubt that those who don’t read the bible or know God personally thinks He is Mean and full of wrath. SO I sit here and think about the relationship a parent has with a delinquent child. Hard for an outsider to love another child when they are misbehaving, especially when their father has warned them over and over and over! But to that parent, it does not matter how far they get, or how bad they are, they never love them less. Ya know. And to make them better children we discipline them severely (well a good parent does, I am just saying). If you let them go….how will they turn out?? But after a few 100 warnings, eventually some action takes place BECAUSE you love them.
Anyway, God loves His People and He has expressed every emotion to bring them back to His ways. Now they need to be spanked.
By Chapter 12 and 13 you can tell God is angry! He is going all the way back to Genesis (it always does!). He is talking of Jacob and Egypt…and he is reminding them of all He had done for them but back in 11:5 He gives his reason. it is SIMPLE. Because they DO NOT repent. That is the KEY! It was then and it is NOW. Confession is step 1, Repenting is the Key.
Finally in 14 one last plea, to me God is saying “the ball is in your court…if punishment comes it is not because you were unwarned! We choose the need for God’s discipline. Sort of a bunny trail here, but somewhat related, God does not send anyone to Hell, people CHOOSE that path, against God’s guidance and countless warnings!
Chapter s 1-3 are the parallels we can see between Hosea and Gomer, and God and His people. The names are important to note here:
- Jezreel means God Scatters
- Lo-Ruhamah-means not Loved or not pitied
- Lo-Amni: Lo means not- NOT his people (they were not conceived by Hosea)
- Hosea means Joshua, or Jesus in Greek,means Salvation
Let’s start with a Summary. Hosea was commanded by God to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him and would cause him great heartaches. The book can be read as Hosea sobbing as he writes. His wife Gomer almost from the beginning of their relationship runs the other way and chases the way of the world. Looking for pleasure in what life has to offer. We today pursue our dreams and desires and lose our appreciation for our relationship and love for the Lord. We compromise our standards, and become unfaithful to God, just as Gomer did to Hosea. Luckily we are children of a God of Grace, Mercy and Love. He, like Hosea, is willing to buy us back at a price to redeem us, to restore us.
Jezreel, named after the battlefield from 2 Kings 10, from Jehu’s bloody tirade. Naming him that was to let the people know that retribution and punishment was to come.
Lo-Ruhanah (these children not conceived from Hosea) meant Not Loved. (Lo meaning Not) and Lo-Ammi means Not my people. As you read the text you will see that Hosea then drops the “Lo” part prophesying that they (the nations) will be Loved and will be His People. You know that all 66 books in the Bible are weaved but some are more obvious. When Paul is speaking to the Romans to let them know that ALL the people, even Gentiles, are Loved and His People, Paul quotes the Prophet Hosea (So stinking cool!)
even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea:
”I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”and,
”It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,
’You are not my people,’
they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ “Romans 9:25
Chapter 2 and 3 are so deep and personal. If we get far from the Lord He will take drastic measures to bring us back, just as He did Gomer, Just as he did Israel, and just as He is doing to some of us now. Sometimes he has to give us obstacles and strip us down so that as a last attempt we “try God”. God does not care how we return to Him but that we do. He will bring us to the “Valley of Achor”meaning trouble (from Joshua 7 when Achan took some plunder and God punished the people to bring them back to obedience)
The next verse after that is so beautiful (16)
“In that day,” declares the LORD,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.
Chapter 3. If you get nothing out of this book get this. This reconciliation between Hosea and Gomer, God and Israel, is a beautiful symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. God was always willing to buy us back, redeem us, restore us. He paid the highest price for us. Hosea’s wife had fallen so far away she must have become a slave (a slave to sin) that she needed to be bought back. Hosea paid with Silver and Barley (a lot of it) God paid with the life of Jesus.
Chapter 4-7. The rest of the book is a charge against Israel. In Chapter 4 I prayed to God as to what to write, I have ignored some topics of religion and I feel now like I am being “politically correct” and sometimes I do not know what I am supposed to write and not write. I am going to continue to pray about it and see what I feel led to do and handle it when we get to Romans I suppose. As of right now I feel like a yellow light to Yield is up so I will remain self controlled. Today’s topic I am praying about is 4:12 about wooden carvings. In Hosea it says “they consult a wooden idol and answered by a stick of wood”. If you are going to choose to worship in ANY other way : through idolatry, through music, no music, through fasting, ANY way of worship PLEASE line it up biblically…otherwise we fall into the category of PROSTITUTE.
Chapter 6. A verse that has popped out SEVERAL times in the Bible so far is 6.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Repentance is not acknowledging what you did was wrong and then going to church or volunteering. Repentance is agreeing with God so much that what we are doing is wrong that we actually turn the other way and stop doing it. He does not want our sacrifice He wants our Repentance. Our Heart.
If you have read the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, then you will LOVE the book Hosea.
Hosea means Salvation. The prophet Hosea is instructed by God to marry an unfaithful woman, and he found in his own life a vivid illustration of the unfaithfulness of God’s people and the faithfulness of God. Hosea echoes the three-fold message of the prophets:
- God hates (abhors) the Sins of His people
- Judgment is certain
- God’s love stands firm
You are going to love this story! Why? The Theme of this book is: Love, God’s Covenant, Relationship with His people, Judgement and Hope. Hosea was the only prophet to come from Israel (northern kingdom). This book is written after the fall of their capital Samaria. After the judgment on God’s people they didn’t turn towards him (excluding the people we read about yesterday that listened to Hezekiah), instead worse happened, they went further away from the Lord. The country was in a rapid decline morally and politically.
During Hosea’s reign he saw 6 Israel Kings in just 20 years, most of them assassinating their predecessor, showing us how unstable things had become. The past 200 years the Golden Calf has been the official national god, and God has sent prophet after prophet preaching to the people to change their ways. (what do you do with your weekend Sermon?) Rome was being built and in India Buddhism is beginning .
They have heard and seen Elijah, Elisha, Jonah and Amos. Hosea’s job was to preach that God still Loved Them. The book of Hosea is a one-sided story of faithfulness that represents the relationship between Israel and God. Gomer is marries to Hosea, like Israel is marries to God, like the Church is married to God. (We are HOMER in the story). The story has two characters, the faithful husband and the adulterous wife. She chases after other gods, idolatry and materialism.
This book can be read in it’s literal interpretation or in its allegorical interpretation. The latter makes the names and places found in Hosea to represent spiritual and symbolic truths.Hosea is a prophet to the Northern Kingdom, who preached a message focused on the unfaithfulness of the people and God’s faithful love and commitment back. Hosea can be divided into 2 sections: chapter 1-3 is sort of an autobiography of Hosea and then 4-14 is Hosea’s preaching. As you read this I ask that you pray first to ask God to show you how this story relates to us nationally and to each of us PERSONALLY.