December 8th Hosea 1 A. Personal – The Prophet and his wife Hosea takes an unfaithful wife
1: The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. 2: The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. 3: So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. 4: And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5: And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6: And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 7: But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. 8: Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9: Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
Israel to return to the Lord
10: Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 11: Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
1: Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ru-hamah. 2: Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; 3: Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. 4: And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. 5: For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. 6: Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. 7: 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 was it better with me than now. 8: For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. 9: Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. 10: And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. 11: I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. 12: And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. 13: 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.
The Lord loves His people
14: Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15: And I will give her 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. 16: And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. 17: For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. 18: And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. 19: And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20: I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. 21: And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22: And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23: And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel along with Amos and he knew Isaiah and Micah prophets to Judah. A good title for this book would be ‘God still loves his wayward people’. This book of 14 chapters was written about 715 BC. This book of Hosea is the first of 12 smaller prophetic books. Hosea writes to record the word of the Lord to Israel - the northern kingdom. He had been told to marry a wife, Gomer, although he knew she would be unfaithful to him as a picture of Israel’s relationship with God. It is a tragic love story - with a happy ending. The first thing that Hosea is told to do is to go and take a wife who was a prostitute and the daughter of a prostitute. So he took Gomer as his wife and had a child from her that he named Jezreel. (Sown and sown again. The idea is that the kingdom is to be sown in the nations and then much latter still prophecy today, gathered and sown again in the land) The point of his naming is that soon God would cause the northern kingdom to cease. The army of Israel would be smashed in the valley of Jezreel. Then Gomer bore another - child a daughter that he called Lo-ruhamah. (Not loved) This name signified that the Lord would not have mercy on Israel anymore. But the Lord will have mercy on Judah and will save them but not by their own strength of arms. When the child was weaned she had another child – a boy that Hosea named Lo-ammi. This name means – not my people. The Lord said to Israel, l will not be your God. Yet the Children of Israel will continue to grow in number and in the very place were they are called not my people – there they will one day be called the sons of the living God. the judgment of god on Israel will be called Great. (All the time that Israel is in a state of having forsaken the Lord is called Lo-Ammi which means ‘Not my people’. This is the condition of Judah in the present day after the rejection of their Messiah. ‘I will not be ‘I am’ to you’.) The names of the children of Hosea were a living message to Israel. Hosea is to cast out his wife for her unfaithfulness as a picture to Israel of their spiritual unfaithfulness. Then the Lord will make the living of Israel to be hard so that they will return unto the Lord their God. (This gives a clearer vision of the Ministry of John and Christ and his apostles they called on unfaithful Israel to return unto the Lord their God. It was a call not to be saved but a call to repent – to think again and return to the God they had forsaken.) The Lord says l will deal with Israel in such a way that she will remember the Lord. He will entice her and speak kindly to her. In that day Israel will call the Lord ‘Ishi’ which means ‘my husband’ and will not call God ‘Baali’ which means ‘my Lord’. The affection of the married state will be the character of their relationship. In that day (which is yet future) the Lord will make peace with the wild animals, birds and creeping animals for the sake of Israel. And the Lord will destroy all the armies against them so that they will live in safety. Israel will be married to the Lord forever and the character of the Lord toward Israel will be righteousness, judgment (on their enemies) and love and mercy. The Lord will be exceedingly kind to Israel. He will declare his love for them saying - I will say to them which were not my people, ‘You are my people’; and they will answer, ‘You are my God’.