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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Hosea

I. INTRODUCTION

  • The Word of the Lord that is written in this book came during the historical time period of the reigns of the following kings of Judah: (1) Uzziah; (2) Jotham; (3) Ahaz; and (4) Hezekiah (Hosea 1:1). 

  • Hosea also began his prophetic ministry during the time of Jeroboam II, King of Israel (Hosea 1:1). 

  • This is the second Jeroboam to reign as king over the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 14:16, 23) (Nave, 1995). 

  • Thus, these prophecies in Hosea came way before the Babylonian conquest of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. 

  • They also came before the Assyrian conquest of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

  • Remember, during the time of most of the prophets, the Jewish people were divided into these two kingdoms.

  • Hosea, unlike many other prophets in the Old Testament, concentrated the majority of his prophesying (i.e. preaching) on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

  • He mentions the Southern Kingdom of Judah, but it was not his main focus (Arnold & Beyer, 1999).

II. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WOULD BE NO MORE

  • In Hosea 1, God reveals His Word to Hosea foretelling that the children of Israel, which was the Northern Kingdom of the time, would be no more.

  • This is referring to the Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom for their sins due to their idolatry.

  • Hosea’s children were given symbolic names to show the Jewish people of the Northern Kingdom God’s displeasure. 

  • One of the children was named Jezreel, which was the place where the Assyrian army would win a decisive victory over the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

  • The second child was named Lo-ruhamah, which means that God would no longer pity the Northern Kingdom.

  •  Lastly, the third child was named Lo-ammi which means “not my people.” 

  • This means that the Northern Kingdom had separated themselves from Him through sin (Isaiah 59:2).

​III.  GOD'S MERCY UPON THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WOULD NOT CONTINUE

  • God had continued mercy on the Northern Kingdom, because they had been idolatrous all of their existence, which was hundreds of years at the point of Hosea 1. 

  • For example, their very first king, Jeroboam I, set up idolatry in the land right at the very beginning of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Kings 10:29; 2 Chronicles 13:8). 

  • God’s mercy upon the Northern Kingdom had run out. 

  • He was going to let them be conquered and captured by the Assyrians (Hosea 1:6). 

  • Nothing is different in these Christian times, because and as already explained, Jesus has been in heaven for over 2,000 years at the time of this writing.

  • God is having extended mercy on mankind in order that we have a chance to be saved!

  • When Jesus comes back there will be no other opportunity at salvation (2 Peter 3)

IV. GOD WOULD SPARE THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH FROM ASSYRIAN CONQUEST

  • Also, in Hosea 1, God was saying that He would spare the Southern Kingdom of Judah at this time, which means that the Assyrians would have no power over them to conquer them. 

  • Similar to what Adam Clark (n.d.) wrote, the Southern Kingdom would be saved from captivity while the Northern Kingdom had to suffer Assyrian captivity.

  • In fact, God’s Word that the captivity of Assyria would not come to the Southern Kingdom was fulfilled, because the Assyrians unsuccessfully tried to take over Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom in the time of Hezekiah.

  • However, because the people were still faithful to God in that time, God saved Jerusalem by an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army (2 Kings 19) (Clark, n.d.). 

  • Even later writings in Hosea confirm that the Southern Kingdom of Judah was considered righteous for awhile by God (Hosea 4). 

  • This does not mean that God would not punish the Southern Kingdom of Judah for their idolatry later on in Bible history, because we have already studied that they were taken into Babylonian captivity for their sins in the book of Daniel. 

  • Unfortunately, the Southern Kingdom of Judah did not remain faithful to God. 

  • With this information known, God was showing us in the book of Hosea (Hosea 1 especially) that He would start the judgment with the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

  • In addition, just to avoid confusion in future Bible studies, please note that Uzziah is also called Azariah in the Scriptures (2 Kings 14:21; 2 Chronicles 26:1).

V. GOD FORETELLS THE COMING OF THE CHURCH

  • One of the beautiful and encouraging portions of Hosea 1 is that God foretells that He will gather the Jews of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah into one nation again

  • This can only mean that the future church (i.e. the church of Christ of today) would be made of Jewish people from all over the globe.

  • This was witnessed on that great Pentecost day in Acts 2 where the Jewish people from many nations heard the Gospel plan of salvation in Jesus Christ and 3,000 repented of their sins.

  • These 3,000 believers went down into the watery grave of baptism for the forgiveness of their sins making them Christians (Acts 2:38; 11:26)! 

  • Of course, Gentiles (i.e. non-Jewish people) would be included in this kingdom church later on in Acts 10. 

  • The re-gathered Jewish people would be under one Head, which we know to be Jesus (Hosea 1:11). 

  • Jesus is the Head of His kingdom church today (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:1-14; Romans 16:16).

VI. HOSEA IS COMMANDED BY GOD TO TAKE A WIFE FROM A SEXUALLY IMMORAL LIFESTYLE

  • Before moving on to Hosea 2, it is important to point out a key verse, which is Hosea 1:2, which reads “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.” 

  • Reader, as you can see, Hosea, the man of God, was told to take a wife that came from a whorish background.

  • Now, this word “whoredoms” is taken from the Hebrew word “zanun,” which is Strong’s number 2183. 

  • It can be translated as fornication, prostitution, or adultery (Renn, 2005). 

  • Different translations of the Bible will translate it different ways. 

  • The key is to not get tangled up on the precise meaning of the word, but to hang on to the general idea, which is that Hosea was to pick a wife from women that were known to be sexually immoral. 

  • Most likely, she was just a morally loose person when it came to being promiscuous or a prostitute, because if she was an adulterous wife like the New International Version translates Hosea 1:2, she probably would have been killed before having an opportunity to marry Hosea (Deuteronomy 22:22) (Henry, 2004).

  • Knowing that she was a sexually immoral person is encouragement for modern-day Christians, because it symbolizes the non-Christian’s status with God before becoming a Christian. 

  • Remember, Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10). 

  • Thus, all people, before they became a Christian, were lost and in their sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23). 

  • God selected us, sinful creatures, to be a part of His family as symbolized by the marriage of Hosea and the sexually sinful Gomer. 

  • What a merciful and kind God He is! 

  • To keep in line with the context of the book of Hosea, the immediate context of Hosea marrying Gomer was to symbolize God’s marriage to the children of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

VII.  GOD TELLS HOSEA TO HAVE THE JEWISH PEOPLE PLEAD WITH THEIR MOTHER, ISRAEL, TO REPENT OF THEIR IDOLATRY

  • In Hosea 2, God tells Hosea to have the Jewish people plead with their mother, Israel, to repent of her idolatry, which is spiritual adultery to God.

  • The Northern Kingdom of Israel had gotten so sinful that they believed their blessings had come from their false god. 

  • Instead, God makes it plain that He had provided all of their blessings as He does with all Christians-not powerless idols (James 1:17)! 

  • One can see why God would be angry with an adulterous wife, such as the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

  • This is because she not only gave a false god the credit for her blessings, but she used God’s blessings to worship it instead of the true God of heaven (Hosea 2:8) (Arnold & Beyer, 1999)! 

  • Today, this would be as if one’s wife was taking her husband’s paycheck and giving it to her secret lover! 

  • This would inflame the anger of the average husband in this world! 

  • Should not God have been angry? 

  • Furthermore, God shows the Northern Kingdom that He had divorced them (Hosea 2:2). 

  • In divorcing anyone, God had always given them a chance to repent first. 

  • Obviously, this shows that the people of the Northern Kingdom stubbornly refused to come out of idolatry.

VIII. GOMER LIVES IN ADULTERY BUT HOSEA FORGIVES HER

  • Hosea chapter 3 is a very sad chapter.

  • We see that Gomer literally left Hosea and lived in a life of adultery.

  •  It is obvious that Hosea could experience the emotional pain that God felt when His wife, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, committed spiritual adultery against Him.

  • Somehow, Gomer had become a slave and Hosea had to buy her freedom. 

  • He loved her and did so. 

  • He commanded her, as her husband, to be faithful to him again and that he would be faithful to her as well (Hosea 3:1-3). 

  • Now, this is obviously symbolic of two things. 

  • First, God would rescue the repentant Jews from the slavery of sin leading to death through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:20-21; Revelation 1:5). 

  • This includes the Gentiles, because this same blood purchases all of God’s children (Acts 10; 20:28; Galatians 3:28). 

  • All Christians become the bride of Christ and thus, we are united to Jesus Christ in the matrimony of the watery grave of baptism (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). 

  • Just like in an earthly marriage where the man and woman become one flesh, spiritually we become one with Christ after we emerge from the watery grave of baptism (Matthew 19:5-6; Genesis 2:24). 

  • Remember, Jesus’ blood does more than just cleanse us from our sins, as Christians. 

  • It also purchases us and makes us one with Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5; Acts 20:28). 

  • Second, as Hosea set the terms of their relationship, God the Father sets the terms of our relationship with Him as revealed to us through the preaching of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3; Matthew 7:21; John 14:15). 

  • Remember, the commands of Jesus Christ are the same as the commands of God the Father, because they are One God (Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 5:3; John 1:1-3, 14). 

  • Thus, we must believe in and obey the Word of God, revealed to us through Jesus Christ, in order to be saved (Matthew 7:21).

IX. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL WILL BE CUT OFF FROM THE TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD AND THEIR IDOL WORSHIP

  • Moving forward, Hosea 3:4-5 are two most important verses, which read, “4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” 

  • After the time of Hosea, remember, the Northern Kingdom of Israel would be captured by the Assyrians and never become an independent nation again. 

  • Remember, the term, “children of Israel,” is speaking about the Northern Kingdom of Israel and not the Southern Judah (Henry, 2004). 

  • Hosea 3:4 cannot apply to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, because in the time of Jesus hundreds of years later, Jerusalem (the city in Judah), had the Jewish Temple, animal sacrifices, and the ephod (i.e. the high priest and other priests of the Temple) (Matthew 26:58-68; Luke 3:2; John 2:18-22). 

  • Hosea makes distinct divisions between the two kingdoms in these prophecies. 

  • So what God is saying through Hosea is this: (1) You will be deprived of your own kings to rule over you; (2) you will not have your own government; (3) You will not be able to give sacrifices unto Me; (4) your false gods will not be there for you to worship during your captivity; (5) you will not have an ephod among you, because you will have no access to a priest that would offer sacrifices for you to Me; and (6) even your teraphims (i.e. family centered idols) would not be accessible to you. 

  • Remember, ephods were worn by the high priests and other priests that worked in the Temple (Exodus 28:27-43) (Unger & White, 1996). 

  • Exodus 28:27-30 shows us that the ephod was the garment of the high priest of the Temple and 1 Samuel 22:17-23 tells us that the subordinate priests also wore an ephod (Nave, 1995). 

  • Thus, God was telling the Northern Kingdom that in their captivity, they will be cut off from the worship of Him and their idols at the same time (Hosea 3:4).

  • In fact, God was saying that this lack of access to Him through the Jewish system of worship and the lack of access of the Northern Kingdom to their idols would last until they turn their hearts back to Him, which obviously means repentance and David, their true King, comes again. 

  • This obviously means that not until King Jesus, David’s Son, would come in the flesh and turn the hearts of the Jews back to God, would they have access to God again (Hosea 3:5). 

  • Remember, some of the Jews on that Pentecost day in Acts 2, obviously had to be some of the Jews scattered throughout the world which began with the Assyrian captivity. 

  • These Jews came from nations all over the world on that Pentecost day and were saved by the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:5-11). 

  • Furthermore and lastly regarding Hosea 3:5, this is an indirect prophecy concerning the Kingship of Jesus Christ, because the Jews would not have an independent Jewish king over them until Jesus Christ came. 

  • Remember, Jesus is King over the entire universe (1 Timothy 6:15). 

  • In the time of Jesus, the Romans controlled all religious and political leaders of the Jews.

X. GOD'S DISSATISFACTION WITH THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL AND RESULTING PUNISHMENT

  • Moving forward, Hosea 4 speaks of the sins of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

  • Hosea 4:1-2 sums up God’s dissatisfaction and reads according to the New International Version, “1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” 

  • The land was in moral ruins.

  • The major cause was obviously no knowledge of God in the land. 

  • This is the backbone of morality in any society. 

  • The Word of the Lord has to be taught in the homes and churches of Christ in truth in order to bring about virtue (i.e. moral correctness) in the people (2 Peter 1:5-8). 

  • This is why society and churches turn morally wicked. 

  • If there is no true teaching of the Word of God, then the people stray away from God and live morally wicked in His sight. 

  • This is why the lying, murders, stealing, and sexual immorality such as adultery occur so rampantly. 

  • The United States of America is a good example of the people abandoning God and our moral wickedness is a sign of this.

  • Because of their wickedness, the Northern Kingdom of Israel would experience famine (Hosea 4:3) (Clark, n.d.). 

  • This was literally fulfilled in the time of King Ahab and the prophet, Elijah (1 Kings 17:1). 

  • Hosea 4:5-10 is very disturbing for the sincere, child of God. 

  • God was saying that He was going to destroy both the people and the priests. 

  • He tells them that the people perish, because of a lack of knowledge. 

  • Bible school teacher, are you not convinced that you must teach the truth even if it is rejected by the people? 

  • The priests and prophets (i.e. religious leaders) of Hosea 4 were foretold to be destroyed by God in the Assyrian invasion, because they did not teach the people the truth! 

  • Remember, teacher of the Word of God, even if the people reject you, seek to be accepted by God for your determined nature to teach the truth no matter what!

XI. BOTH THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL AND THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH WERE STUBBORNLY LOCKED IN THEIR IDOLATROUS WAYS

  • Hosea 5 is very sad. 

  • The Northern Kingdom of Israel was overtaken with idolatry and would not repent. 

  • Unfortunately, the Southern Kingdom of Judah did not take God’s warning to not be like their sister nation of Israel, but followed in the same footsteps. 

  • Thus, God is showing that both kingdoms, meaning the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, would be destroyed as judgment caused by their idolatry.

  • Remember, God saw all of their (i.e. Ephraim of the Northern Kingdom and the whole

  • Northern Kingdom) idolatrous deeds, because nothing can be hid from the eyes of God (Hosea 5:3; Psalm 139).

XII. THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL OFFER INSINCERE REPENTANCE

  • ​In Hosea 6, God reveals the attitude of the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Southern Kingdom of Israel regarding the judgment that they both would experience. 

  • They believed the following words, “1 . . .Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth . . .” (Hosea 6:1-3 New International Version). 

  • Hosea 5:15 means that the Jewish people of both kingdoms would be put through great oppression at the hands of their enemies in order to bring them to confess their sins to the Lord and bring about repentance.

  • Remember, even for the modern-day Christians, the purpose of God’s punishments for us in this life is to bring us back to a relationship with Him (Hebrew 12).

  • Unfortunately, the confession and repentance of Hosea 6:1-3 was not sincere, because in verses 4-10, God shows them that they are good for one minute and evil the next. 

  • God started answering their words in verse 4. 

  • Thus, God knows the intent of our heart; proving the fact that He immediately knows if our confession and repentance is sincere or not.

XIII.  GOD WANTS COMPASSION

  • God continues by telling the Jews of both kingdoms that they broke the covenant (i.e. disobeyed the Old Testament Law of Moses) and gave sacrifices instead of compassion (i.e. mercy) (Hosea 6:6). 

  • God wanted them to treat their fellow Jewish brothers with compassion instead of neglecting this aspect of loving one’s neighbor as themselves (Leviticus 19:18). 

  • They felt that as long as they made all of the animal sacrifices that the Old Testament Law of Moses commanded, they would be righteous in the sight of God despite the fact that they were neglecting the needy of the Jewish community, their own parents, mistreating one another in all ways, and disobeying God, Himself (Leviticus 19:18). 

  • God wanted holy behavior out of them and not animal sacrifices to supposedly make up for their hypocritical lifestyles. 

  • Christians must take note of this, because we must understand that God wants us to be compassionate to our neighbors and live a clean, Christian life in obedience to be saved (Matthew 7:21; 25:31-46; James 2:20). 

  • Christians cannot buy their way into heaven via the church collection plate as well or by mere church worship service attendance alone. 

  • These things are required of the Christian as acts of worship (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:25; Acts

  • 20:7).

  • However, without an obedient life to the Word of God, loving our fellow Christians and non-Christians , and being compassionate to those in need, then we will not be saved (Matthew 7:21; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8, Matthew 25:31-46).

XIV. GOD IS UPSET WITH THE IMMORALITY OF THE KINGS OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM, THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND THE IMMORALITY OF THEIR SUBJECTS

  • Hosea 7 tells us of the stubborn rebellion of the Jews of the Northern Kingdom. 

  • They refused to repent of their evil ways in the sight of God.

  • Remember, the Northern Kingdom of Israel is called Ephraim and Samaria as well to avoid confusion. 

  • Samaria is the capital of the Northern Kingdom and Samaria is located in the territory of Ephraim. 

  • Thus, God calls the Northern Kingdom both Samaria and Ephraim for short. 

  • God is upset with them, because they are liars and spiritual adulterers (i.e. idol worshippers) (Hosea 7:1, 4). 

  • They were breaking into each other’s houses and robbing people in the streets (Hosea 7:1). 

  • Furthermore, their kings and rulers, instead of trying to correct the evils of the society, love to see them do wickedly instead of obeying God (Hosea 7:3). 

  • Their idolatrous kings would constantly fall, which means that God kept removing them through death over the years as punishment for their wicked reigns over the people, and still successive kings would continue to be idolatrous. 

  • Other wicked government offi cials would succeed each other over and over in the Northern Kingdom as well (2 Kings 15:8-31) (Clark, n.d.). 

  • God had promised in the Law of Moses that the kings who ruled according to God’s Will would have a long-lasting kingdom, but those that did wicked deeds would be removed for the throne (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) (Nave, 1995).

  • Remember, when the Bible says that a king did the same sins as Jeroboam I, we have to understand that Jeroboam I set up idolatry in the land initially (1 Kings 12:25-33) (Nave, 1995). 

  • In other words, Jeroboam I began the slip into idolatry for the Northern Kingdom.

  • Jeroboam I was the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

  • Should this sign of constantly removing the kings of the Northern kingdom not have turned the Jews of the Northern Kingdom from their sins? 

  • Of course so, but the people were stubborn. 

  • In addition, regarding the violence and moral degradation of their society, does this not sound like American society? 

  • We can only thank God that He has spared us this long after centuries of this type of behavior in our own nation. 

  • This is why the Word of God tells us to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3). 

  • We must become a praying nation of Christians in order to continue in the grace and mercy of God for this country and perhaps, God would sway the hearts of our leaders to create a new morality in America?

  • Don’t forget to vote. The American Christian vote can make a difference if we do not become hopeless, neglectful, or lazy.

XV. ALLIES CANNOT HELP A NATION CURSED BY GOD

  • Moving forward, God says that the Jews of the Northern Kingdom would seek assistance from Assyria and Egypt for help when the destruction of the Lord comes upon then, but it will be of no use (Hosea 7:11-16). 

  • In fact, Assyria was the one that ended up conquering the Northern Kingdom of Israel even though they tried to bribe the Assyrians in order to not be conquered. 

  • The bribe turned the Assyrians away from them for awhile, but they returned and conquered the Northern Kingdom as God had foretold.

  • In fact, some of the Jews of the Northern Kingdom ran to Egypt also for help against the Assyrians later on in Bible history and Jews of the Northern Kingdom were slaughtered by the Assyrians anyway just like the Lord had said (2 Kings 15, 17-19) (Nave, 1995). 

  • The Northern Kingdom of Israel tried to become allies with Egypt against the Assyrians, which enraged the Assyrians.

  • As God foretold in Hosea 7, the Egyptians would be of no help in stopping the judgment of God through the Assyrians. 

  • When Assyria found out about the conspiracy with Egypt, they crushed the Northern Kingdom of Israel and took them into captivity (2 Kings 17:4) (Gill, n.d.). 

  • God is again teaching us to trust in Him and not man. 

  • Man can never save us. 

  • It is God that saves. 

  • Furthermore, this tells us that when God sends His Word out, it will always be fulfilled even when men do all that they can to stop it (Isaiah 55:11). 

  • No one can overpower or overrule the All-mighty God in heaven or His Word!

XVI. THE COMING JUDGMENT OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL THROUGH THE ASSYRIANS FOR THEIR IDOLATRY AND THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM WOULD BE PUNISHED THROUGH THE BABYLONIANS

  • Hosea 8 also speaks of the coming judgment of God against the Northern Kingdom of Israel through the Assyrians for their idolatry.

  • Also, regarding Hosea 8, verse 14 foretells the Babylonian capture of the Southern Kingdom of Judah that would occur years after the Assyrian capture of the Northern Kingdom. 

  • Hebrews 9 speaks further about the punishment of God to come to the Northern Kingdom at the hands of Assyria and also famine striking the nation. 

  • Hebrews 10 continues God’s declaration of His judgment upon the Northern Kingdom. 

  • He tells them that their idols in the land will be destroyed and their king killed. 

  • Obviously, the Assyrians would destroy the statues of the idols in the land. 

  • This should show the Jews of the Northern Kingdom that these idols never had power in the first place! 

  • If they had power, then how could they let an army of men, such as the Assyrians, destroy them? 

  • People that practice idolatry nowadays better take notice, because if one took a sledge hammer to a ceramic statue of an idol, then it would surely be destroyed. 

  • It would not be able to protect itself!

  • Idols never had power and never will!

  • Thus, it is in vain to worship them and is surely a sin in the sight of God!

  • What is interesting about the Jews of the Northern Kingdom is that the Word of God says their hearts were divided (Hosea 10:2). 

  • This means that they were half-worshipping the true God and half-practicing idolatry (Dehoff, 1989). 

  • God proves that He will even judge the Christian for only being a part-time Christian.

  •  We cannot be hypocrites and expect to be saved (Matthew 7:21). 

  • The good part about Hosea 10 is that the Jews of the Northern Kingdom are urged to repent (Hosea 10:12). 

  • The Prophet Hosea was making the same challenge that the prophet Isaiah did, which is to stop being divided in the mind between worshipping idols or worshipping God (1 Kings 18:21) (Barnes, n.d.).

XVII. GOD DEMONSTRATES HIS CARE AND LOVE FOR BOTH THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL AND THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH OVER THE CENTURIES

  • Hosea 11:1 tells us that God called the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt from Egyptian bondage in the time of Moses (Please see the book of Exodus for more information). 

  • Historically and unfortunately, the children of Israel ensnared themselves in idolatry after God delivered them from Egyptian slavery. 

  • These children of Israel in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, over the centuries, ignored God’s spokesmen.

  • These were the prophets who were sent by God to call the children of Israel to allegiance to the true God of heaven, but they preferred idols instead (Hosea 11:2) (Barnes, n.d.)!

  •  Thus, God is showing His care and love over the centuries for both kingdoms.

XVIII. GOD GAVE THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL HIS LOVING CARE AND WORD OF GOD FOR THEM TO OBEY, BUT THEY STILL BETRAYED THE LORD

  • Starting with Hosea 11:3, God shifts the focus back to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. 

  • Like a mother takes a child by the arms to teach it how to walk, this is what God did for the Northern Kingdom (i.e. Ephraim). 

  • The Northern Kingdom had no excuse for their sinful ways, including idolatry, because God gave them the Law of Moses to live by (Hosea 11:3-5). 

  • The Northern Kingdom did not realize that it was God healing them all along.

  • This word “healed” comes from the Hebrew word “rapha’” and it is Strong’s number 7495. 

  • It means to heal the hurts of the nation by restoring them to God’s favor (Brown, Driver, & Briggs, 2001).

  • So, what God was saying in layman’s terms was that when they would sin, He would have constant forgiveness for them. 

  • Thus, the Northern Kingdom was not experiencing a sudden judgment upon them through the hands of the Assyrian forces; instead, they were given centuries of grace and mercy by God. 

  • This grace and mercy had run out and they now had to, unfortunately, face justice instead.

XIX.  GOD CONTINUES TO SPEAK OF HIS LOVE FOR THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL AND THE ASSYRIANS WOULD RULE OVER THEM

  • Hosea 11:4 talks again about the historical dealings of God with the Northern Kingdom, where God says that He drew them with cords of love.

  • This is true, because God made them His people back in Egypt and drew them to a covenant relationship of love with Him. 

  • His demonstration of selecting them as His people was their deliverance from Egyptian slavery (Henry, 2004). 

  • The deliverance from Egyptian slavery was a big indication of God’s love for the Jews. 

  • God brought them into a relationship with Him through love and not force such as through the sword of conversion. 

  • God was showing the Northern Kingdom of Israel that they would not return to the land of Egypt to live, but instead the Assyrians would rule them (Hoses 11:5).

XX. GOD DISPLAYS MERCY TOWARD THE NORTHERN KINGDOM BY DESTROYING THEM BUT NOT TO THE DEGREE THEY DESERVED

  • Hosea 11:8-10 are some of the most emotional verses in the Bible that reveal the mind of God. 

  • God was torn in the heart, because His anger said to destroy them completely, but His compassion said to not completely execute His anger upon them (Dehoff, 1989). 

  • Thus, God was saying that He was going to punish the Northern Kingdom, but not to the degree that they really deserved. 

  • Many of us, as Christians, better praise and thank God, because I am sure that we deserve much greater punishments in this life than we have received (Hebrews 12). 

  • Fortunately for us, as Christians, the compassion of God fell upon us instead of the devastation of us that could have occurred if God would have executed His anger on us as we deserved.

  • There is no telling how many times, our Living Savior, Jesus Christ, has brought down compassion and mercy instead of anger on us despite us completely deserving anger and devastation due to our own sins (1 John 2:1-2). 

  • God still had hope for the people after the Assyrian captivity was over, because some of the children of the Northern Kingdom would return to a sincere service of the Lord. 

  • God, knowing this ahead of time, spares the Northern Kingdom from complete and final destruction, because there would be righteous people that would come from them later in history (Acts 2). 

  • Although they would never exist as an independent nation again, they would exist as a dispersed people that God would recollect through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

XXI MANY CENTURIES LATER, THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WILL REASSEMBLE THE SCATTERED CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WHO OBEY IT INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD

  • Regarding Hosea 11:10-11, this author is going to take a different interpretation than many Bible scholars. 

  • Many scholars apply this verse to the wrong kingdom. 

  • This author believes that Hosea 11:10-11 relates to the Northern Kingdom of Israel and not the Southern Kingdom of Judah as most people would think. 

  • This is because the Northern Kingdom of Israel is the subject of the chapter and the Southern Kingdom of Judah is not mentioned until Hosea 11:12. 

  • The roaring of the lion mentioned in Hosea 11:10 must refer to the Gospel of Salvation in Christ as revealed to us through Jesus and subsequently, through His apostles! 

  • God called Himself a lion in Hosea 5:4. 

  • God speaks through Jesus in these lasts days and Jesus is also God (Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:1-3; 14). 

  • These Northern Kingdom Jews would be placed back into their own dwelling places, which means that some of them would accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God (i.e. Lord) and Savior.

  • They surely will be restored to favor with God and inherit a dwelling place in the heavenly Jerusalem, called New Jerusalem; prepared for all Christians (Revelation 21). 

  • Fortunately, at the time of Hosea 11, God considered the Southern Kingdom of Judah to be righteous in His sight (Hosea 11:12).

XXII. GOD’S ANGER WITH THE NORTHERN KINGDOM FOR MAKING ALLIANCES WITH ASSYRIA AND EGYPT TO AVOID DEFEAT BY THE ASSYRIANS

  • In Hosea 12, God again tells the Northern Kingdom of Israel (i.e. Ephraim) that He is upset by them making alliances with Assyria and Egypt, which we know were unsuccessful attempts to keep the Assyrians from conquering them (Hosea 12:1). 

  • Furthermore, God exposes to the Southern Kingdom of Judah that He would punish them for their sins also (Hosea 12:2). 

  • The Northern Kingdom (i.e. Ephraim) was without excuses.

  • They refused to repent and would have to pay for their sins (Hosea 12:14) (Dehoff, 1989).

XXIII.  THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL’S ARROGANCE DUE TO MATERIALISTIC PROSPERITY

  • Hosea 13 tells us that God will judge the Northern Kingdom for their idolatry. 

  • The destruction will be so bad that even pregnant women and children will be mercilessly murdered as well. 

  • One reason for the spiritual issues of the Jews of the Northern Kingdom is that their material prosperity caused them to depart from God (Hosea 13:6). 

  • People often believe that they do not need God anymore, when He has delivered them from the issues that had oppressed them. 

  • Christian, please don’t let prosperity take you away, because God is the source of all prosperity.

  • He can give it and take it away at any time (James 1:17; Daniel 4:29-37). 

  • Thus, we must remain faithfully obedient to Christ in the good and bad times of life (Revelation 2:10). 

  • Let’s be faithful unto Christ, because we love Him, and not because of the material things that we desire from Him (John 6:26-27) (Barnes, n.d.).

XXIV. GOD CALLS THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL TO REPENT AND GIVES THEM HOPE BY TELLING THEM HE WILL FORGIVE THEM

  • The last chapter in the Book of Hosea is chapter 14. 

  • It tells us that God calls the Northern Kingdom of Israel to repent.

  • He gives them hope, because He tells them that He will forgive them. 

  • This is obviously in the times of Jesus Christ where all men that will believe and obey Him would be put in a covenant relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. 

  • This is for both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 2:9-11, 38-41, 47; 10-11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; 2 Corinthians 5:19).

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