Thursday, July 08, 2010


HOSEA: Hosea is addressed to Northern Israel and especially its most important tribe of Ephraim in Samaria. It is 14 chapters long. Except for chapter 14, almost every word of every chapter is a condemnation of Israel’s sins and God’s promises to punish it (4:1). “I will destroy thy mother” (4:5). “I will reject thee (4:6). I will forget thy children (4:7). They shall “fall in their iniquity” (5:5). “The LORD “hath withdrawn himself from them” (5:6). “Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke” (5:9).

Hosea 5:15 “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Four short verses which remind us of the resurrection of Chris interrupt the curses on Ephraim.

From 6:4 to 10:11 the rebuke and curse resume. “They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land” (9:3). “I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more” (9:15).

A single verse of hope interrupts the rebuke. Hosea 10:12 “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

Hosea 11:8 How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.

Hosea 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.

Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.

Hosea 11:11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.”

However, as bad as things appear, God states clearly that He does not intend to give up Ephraim forever. Hos 11:8-11. This literal unconditional prophecy was not fulfilled in 538 BC, 457 BC nor 444 BC and has not been fulfilled yet.

Hosea 12:9 “And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.”

Hosea 12:9 is not worded in conditional terms.

Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.

Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

Hosea 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

Hosea 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

Hosea 14:5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

Hosea 14:6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.

Hosea 14:7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.

Hosea 14:8 Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Like most of the prophets, Hosea ends with hope and promises of a revived nation of Israel. There is no hint that God will eventually totally reject Israel as his chosen nation.

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