September 16, 2020
Our Vision 2020 reading this week brings us from Hosea chapter 1 through the end of Micah’s prophesies.
In this EBlast, I will talk to us from Hosea.
I have a few points.
First, Hosea was a prophet primarily to the northern kingdom of Israel.
If you recall from our discussion in Ezekiel chapter 23, the northern kingdom was named Israel and the southern kingdom was named Judah.
God then called Israel Oholah and He called Judah Oholibah.
His point in Ezekiel 23 was that Israel had turned from God and turned to idols. God, therefore, was disciplining them by giving them over to be taken captive by the nation of Assyria.
Judah saw all of this happen to her sister, Israel, and nevertheless, she did the same thing. Judah also turned from God and turned to idols. Therefore God was giving Judah over to the nation of Babylon for captivity.
Hosea focuses most of his attention on the northern kingdom of Israel. He does address Judah but not as the primary recipient of his prophesy.
In Hosea, God clearly equates idolatry with adultery.
In chapter 1 Hosea takes a harlot as his wife.
As his wife turns to other lovers, so Israel has done the same with her idolatry.
Just note 1:1,2.
This drives home the point that God sees Israel as His wife and He as her husband (Isaiah 62:1-5; Hosea 2:16).
Another point which I would like to make is the level of God’s commitment to his people.
You might remember from Ezekiel chapter 24 how the wife of Ezekiel died and served as a sign of the loss which Judah would face.
In other words, just as Ezekiel would face deep pain and loss as his wife died, Judah would face deep pain and loss at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
Ezekiel’s life was one of being available so God could teach, love and care for His people.
The same is true of Hosea. He married a harlot so God could teach his people to turn away from their destructive idolatry and return to the God who loves them.
A dub point there is that it was indeed an honor and privilege to be one of God’s prophets, but it came with a cost. Their lives were not their own.
In truth, it is the same for us. We have been bought with a price, the precious blood of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (1Peter 1:17-19), therefore we are not our own (1Corinthians 6:18-20).
Another point to note is how often God uses the name Ephraim when he refers to the northern kingdom. Ephraim, of course, was the 2nd born son of Joseph in Egypt. Check out especially chapter 9.
Understanding this reference of Ephraim should help you in your further study of God’s Scriptures when you come upon that name.
While you are in chapter 9 please note verses 1-9. You will see the idols of Israel and the discipline of God.
God’s plan for the discipline on Israel is to restore Israel back to Him. This is always God’s goal for discipline...restoration.
Therefore, please note all of chapter 14. At the end of the chapter (and the prophesy), God calls Israel to repent so she might be restored to her God.
One final point:
In Hosea 5:8-14 we see Israel turned from God and His discipline on them.
Then in verses 5:15-:/3 we see a couple of wonderful truths.
First of all note the Messiah in 5:15. He will return to His place. Heaven.
He will stay there until Israel, as a nation, acknowledges her guilt for rejecting Jesus as Messiah when He came.
Once Israel realizes what she has done, she will seek His face. She will call on Him, whom they have pierced, (Zechariah 12:10-14).
Then Jesus will return. This is the second coming. It involves the national repentance of Israel.
Please note in verse 5:15 that it is the national affliction of Israel which will lead to the national repentance of Israel. This will happen during the Great Tribulation.
Then in Hosea 6:1-3, Israel has been revived back to life and washed clean.
This is future from Hosea’s perspective and from our perspective. The national repentance of Israel has not yet occurred. It will. When it does, all Israel will be saved and Jesus will return.
We will see many more prophesies regarding Jesus as we continue through the minor prophets.
In fact, this Sunday, it is Jesus we will be seeing as we study more of these prophetic writings.
Until then, stand firmly in Christ.