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04-09-11 Hosea1-3

April 9, 2011

Hosea

This book gives us a heart check in two areas – Idolatry is the first area. (the children of Israel have come to a place where they worship other gods; false gods and this becomes the thorn in their side to the point where God has to seriously threaten them and equate what they do to adultery in marriage and even to harlotry – selling yourself)

We can study the ideology of worshiping other gods before our Lord. In doing so we find that each of these false gods that the Israelites worshipped actually was a symbol for something. Take Baal for example – this was a representation of financial prosperity and sexual immorality. Sounds a lot like America if you ask me. If you put up a play boy bunny, this is communicating that your god is sexual immorality and you have placed this before God. What symbols have you allowed to become false gods in your life?

Hosea in this book is going to be called to present God’s unconditional love to the children of Israel. He is the messenger of repenting and receiving God’s love following your turning away from adultery from God.

Hosea 1

1 The word of the LORD that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash<sup value="[a]”>[a] king of Israel:

750 BC around 1st and 2nd kings time frame. So the old testament isn’t exactly in chronological order and we have gone back historically quite a few books as we begin to read Hosea. Hosea is going to watch the death of Israel as captivity is coming for them for their lack of repentance…. Much like Jerimiah watched the death of a nation for the same reason.

You may at some point notice that Israel was taken captive long before Judah and that is primarily related to the fact that there was not one king throughout their history that followed after God in a truly righteous manner. 722bc Israel is taken captive – 526bc Judah is taken captivity.

2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.”

This is for the purpose of becoming an illustration of God’s love. Now when we talk about idolatry we are not only talking about idolizing something before the Lord our God but also that we have sold ourselves into this thing. We have acted like a harlot when we have allowed our career or our house or a desire to be in an un-Godly relationship. It is spiritual adultery. We are not to allow anything the position of God in our life. God is saying to the nation of Israel that they have broken his heart through their act of idolatry. Think about how it may feel to have your spouse cheat on you…. God too feels hurt.

3So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

Note first off that Hosea obeyed God

4 Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call him Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel.” 6 Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.

The names given all have significant meaning here. It is another study completely though. Suffice it to say that they are justly named with purposes of the Lord’s will.

7Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the LORD their God, will save them.”

8 After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. 9 Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.<sup value="[b]”>[b]

There are several points thus far where we may conclude that Hosea’s wife cheated on him and became pregnant with another person’s child, but we do not conclude this for sure as it is not written that we would know this with no doubt. It is simply a probable possibility.

10 “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’

So the very place where/when the people of God will be called no longer the people of God is also the very point that their restoration will be made.

11 The people of Judah and the people of Israel will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel.<sup value="[c]”>[c]

Hosea 2

1 [a]“Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’

Israel Punished and Restored

2 “Rebuke your mother, rebuke her,
for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband.
Let her remove the adulterous look from her face
and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

God doesn’t condone their sins, but He does show them love and advise them also to show love to one another. He also here shows us some of the emotion involved in being cheated on. He shows His love of the people but hatred of their sin and He shows how He is torn in the two opposing emotions… Anger/hurt vs. unconditional love.

3 Otherwise I will strip her naked
and make her as bare as on the day she was born;
I will make her like a desert,
turn her into a parched land,
and slay her with thirst.
4 I will not show my love to her children,
because they are the children of adultery.
5 Their mother has been unfaithful
and has conceived them in disgrace.
She said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my food and my water,
my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’

God gives them the opportunity to go after their false gods but then in verse 6 advises of the protective hedge against our own sinful flesh.

6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.

How great it is that our Lord doesn’t want us to succeed in our sins.

7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now.’

It is God’s grace that does not allow us to become success full in sin. It will not fulfill us to chase after sin now. Things are very different now that we know Christ as our Savior. We are now a child of God and though we are permitted free will to walk away and to drift as far as we may, but we now have a rubber band (God’s love) that will bring us back to God every time. His grace will draw us back. The question is how hard will we snap back to Him? Lol The further you draw to objects in a rubber band before releasing one, the harder the snap will be.

8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold—
which they used for Baal.

Now we see the children of God still taking His blessings and sacrificing them to the god of prosperity and sexual immorality thus also giving credit to Baal instead of God for the many blessings He had given.. God is about to take this hypocrisy away from them. The children of Israel forgot God.

9 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,
and my new wine when it is ready.
I will take back my wool and my linen,
intended to cover her naked body.
10 So now I will expose her lewdness
before the eyes of her lovers;
no one will take her out of my hands.
11 I will stop all her celebrations:
her yearly festivals, her New Moons,
her Sabbath days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees,
which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for the days
she burned incense to the Baals;
she decked herself with rings and jewelry,
and went after her lovers,
but me she forgot,”
declares the LORD.

So the children of God willfully chose to ignore God because this was the only way to move forward with sin. IT is the same with us that we cannot while meditating on God and His teachings then also willfully sin. This is why it is so important that we meditate on His word always (both day and night) never allowing for sin to enter in place of following after Him. Above we just read what seemingly is leading to God’s wrath but remember earlier the point of the consequences of sin is also going to be a place where God will begin their revival. This is the place where they are now broken and we have been brought to a place of wilderness by the consequences of their own choices. A perfect place to begin drawing one back to God is directly following their brokenness. It is the same with us. When God wants you to get back on track and get your attention refocused on Him, He often allows you the trials and tribulations of life that are a direct result of your own sin. He allows us natural consequences that we may draw nearer to the realization of our supernatural and natural need for a relationship with God. However, it is wrong to assume that just because one is in the wilderness it is because of sin. Take Job for example. There are exceptions to the rule such as God allowing Satan the permission to tempt one and draw them into the wilderness.

14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor<sup value="[b]”>[b]a door of hope.
There she will respond<sup value="[c]”>[c] as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

As in the day she came up out of Egypt. Wow. What a type of worship. How powerful. To worship as though you were just brought out of eternal bondage for the first time all over again. That is how the nation of Israel would worship again.

16 “In that day,” declares the LORD,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.<sup value="[d]”>[d]’
17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips;
no longer will their names be invoked.

“my master” in this translation is actually a modification of the name of baal (spelled differently in Hebrew). The people got so used to giving worship to false gods they had lost memory of his name, but thankfully God is merciful and has the grace to take the memory of that pagan name away from them that they may again call him their husband, no longer to commit adultery against God.

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them
with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the creatures that move along the ground.
Bow and sword and battle
I will abolish from the land,
so that all may lie down in safety.
19 I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in<sup value="[e]”>[e]righteousness and justice,
in<sup value="[f]”>[f] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in<sup value="[g]”>[g] faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD.

21 “In that day I will respond,”
declares the LORD—
“I will respond to the skies,
and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
the new wine and the olive oil,
and they will respond to Jezreel.

So He took away the provisions and now he has given them back.

23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.<sup value="[i]”>[i]’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,<sup value="[j]”>[j]’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

Hosea 3

Hosea’s Reconciliation With His Wife

1 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

2 So I bought her for fifteen shekels[a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek[b] of barley.

Again being made an example to us here of the fact that a price is paid (Jesus on the cross) to inherit and receive the spouse (us) back unto God.

3 Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”

4 For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. 5Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days.

So we have sold ourselves under sin and Jesus made the choice to willfully buy us back out of the death in our sins and bring us instead into His life. We were spiritual harlots before God; spiritually bankrupt with no hopes or dreams of ever getting out of the lifestyle of harlotry to false gods, and God reached in and saved us unconditionally from the gods of money and sexual immorality and the many other gods we set up for ourselves. He reached out through His son’s death and resurrection that we may become rooted and grounded in God’s love. This is the love that passes knowledge. The story of the redemption through Jesus Christ should be so meaningful that we not then go and give ourselves back over to the gods of this world. We should instead respond to the love Jesus has shown us in a fruitful and loving manner that allows for change in us. We should always meditate on and remember what has been done that we might be untied with our eternal Father and know Him. May we live in a manner that reflects this very real and powerful relationship with our creator and not turn away from Him for the temporary things of this world.

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