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Sunday, February 5th 2017

8:19 PM

The Book of Hosea





 





At the time of Hosea, Israel was in a state of moral and spiritual decay.


The nation's crime rate was high, full of violence and homicides


(Chapter 4:2). Idolatry (Chapter 4:12 & 13), adultery, prostitution 


(Chapter 4:13 & 14),drunken bouts, whoredom (Chapter 4:18), and robberies (Chapter 6:9) were the social norm. Uncontrollable lust was ingrained in the culture (Chapter 7:4). 





Israel was experiencing economic prosperity (Chapter 8:14, 10:1), 


military prowess(Chapter 8:14, 2nd Chr. 26:11-15),and political conquests, 


which blinded them to their corruption. There was this prevailing attitude 


that if God exist, He wasn't concerned with human activity because of the 


assumed disinvolvement or lack of intervention (Chapter 7:2).





The intermingling with heathens resulted in cultural assimilation 


(Chapter 7:8) and apostasy (Chapter 1:2). Israel started to worship 


their gods (Chapter 7:9). It was in Gilgal(Chapter 9:15) were the 


worship of Baal flourished (Chapter 4:15, 12:11). They credited the 


foreign gods for the success of the nation, forgetting all about their


historical experience with the God of Israel(Chapter 7:13-15). 


  


But the pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:25) was so embedded within the 


hearts of the people of Israel, that the idea of returning to the 


principles that conflicted with those deeds was inconceivable (Chapter 5:4)


The medium was the continual practices of religious rites (Chapter 8:13).


Relationship with God is not about rituals and religious behavior; it's about


intimacy (Chapter 6:6).





The prophet was summoned by God to denounce Israel's decadence. God


addressed the leaders first, for it was their responsibility to guard


justice. Sadly; they were corrupted (Chapter 4:8-9,5:1-2 and 10, 7:3, 9:15).


The warnings begun during the northern kingdom of Israel last era of social strength. 


Uzziah (Chapter 1:1) became so powerful that he got prideful and took


upon himself priestly duties which lead to a lifetime skin disease 


punishment(2nd Chronicles 26:16). Jotham (Chapter 1:1)replaced his father


(2nd Chronicles 26:21). The warnings turned into reality during the days


of Hezekiah.


 


The prophet Hosea was instructed to take a prostitute for a wife..


This action had layers of meaning. The obvious one was spelled out for us,


the marriage represented the union of a holy God {Hosea} to an unfaithful


wife {Israel} (Chapter 1:2). Hosea didn't marry an honorable woman who


fell from grace, he sought her out in her whoredom. The love of God is


unconditional.





Romans 5:8


But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still


sinners, Christ died for us.








The first child born to Gomer was a son named Jezreel (Chapter 1: 4&5) which


means "God soweth...scattering seeds",the significance of the name holds 


connection to the philosophy of what you sow you reap (Chapter 10:13). For it was in valley of Jezreel, that


Jehu, the progenitor of King Jeroboam, sowed death at a plain called


Jezreel. And it would be there, his house will reap it's punishment..


(Chapter 1:4&5)








God promised Jehu that his descendants would sit on the throne of Israel 


for four generations (2nd Kings 10:30) and they did ..Jehoahaz, Joash, 


Jereboam II (The king during the time of Hosea), and Zachariah. If 


King Jerobam was familiar with scripture, this would have been a great


concern for him..as Zachariah, his son, would be the last predicted 


ruler of their family empire, but the lack of knowledge of God was 


dominant during this period in Israel's history (Chapter 4:6). 


Zachariah reigned six months before being assassinated (2nd Kings 15:8-10). 


The house of Jehu was the last stable dynasty of Israel.





The fall of the northern monarchy by Assyria was in 722 B.C.E.


Israel's destruction was partially due to the separate (scattered)


interests of the six succeeded kings..instead of the unified power


of the preceded kings that strength the nation.








Gomer second child was a daughter, she was named Lo-Ruhamah.


The name meant "no mercy", but with the potential for reversal.


Anyone learned of that day would have been aware that God was offering


forgiveness if the people would repent (Micah 7:18). 


The scriptures goes on to speak of the rejection of the house of Israel,


while Judah would be pitied. Under the godly leadership of King Hezekiah,


Judah was purged of idolatry (2nd Kings 18:1-8).


Assyria could not defeat Judah as it did Israel. Judah's victory was 


by the divine intervention (2nd Kings 19:35) and not by their once


glorious military prowess (Chapter 1:7).








The last child born to Gomer is named Lo-Ammi which denotes an acknowledgment of


rejection..Ok I'm not your God and you're not my people.


God declares a breaking of the covenant with Israel(Chapter 1:9,2:2 and Jeremiah 31:31-33).


Generations come that are no longer recognizable as the children of Jehovah (chapter 1:2).


They have lost their spiritual identity throughout the years (Chapter 2:4).


We are given a timeframe for this separation {divorce}. It would be around the time


Israel no longer had kings, sacrifices, ephod & teraphim,


and temple (Chapter 3:4).





At the death of Herod Agrippa I of Judea in A.D. 44, the words of Hosea concerning


Israel's days without a king begun.








The first temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's army around 586 B.C.


(Jeremiah 52:12-13 and 2nd Kings 25:8-9)..There seems to be some confusion


on which day the temple was destroyed, the seventh day or the tenth? 


But careful examination of the text gives us clarity.





2nd Kings 25:8-9


8 And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is 


the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came 


Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, 


unto Jerusalem:





9 And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, 


and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he 


with fire.





Jeremiah 52:12-13


In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month—that was the


nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan 


the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered 


Jerusalem.





13 And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king's house and all


the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down.








We see the similarities and automatically think there must be an error


or typo, but that isn't the case. We are told in 2nd Kings that Nebuzaradan


"came unto Jerusalem" (Which means arrived) on the seventh day.


But He didn't enter the city until three days later according to Jeremiah...perhaps putting the city under surveillance?





In 515 B.C.E. the newly built temple was dedicated and structurally upgraded


by 20 B.C.E. It was razed in 70 C.E. Israel has been without a temple since;


thus fulfilling the prophecy of Hosea.





 





After this period, a genuine restoration is promised (Chapter 3:5)...


beginning with a turnaround of fate..for where there was punishment in Jezreel,


there will be redemption (Chapter 2:2). Gomer's children will signify 


belonging, acceptance, (Chapter 2:3) and mercy (Chapter 14:4). 


The most important focal point for future reference is the word genuine....


as the book ends emphasizing this factor. It is calling the reader to 


be prudent (Chapter 14:10). As it is not about the (re)construction of 


systematic practices, something that should have been learned in its 


long absent,that brings about true intimacy with God.





1 Samuel 8:6&7 {King}


6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased 


Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 





7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to


you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as 


their king.





1 Samuel 15:22 {sacrifices}


But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and 


sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than 


sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.





Exodus 20:4 {ephod & teraphim}


You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of 


anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or 


that is in the water under the earth.





Isaiah 66:1&2 {Temple}


1.This is what the LORD says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my 


footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you 


build me such a resting place?





2.For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into 


being," declares the LORD. "But to this one I will look, To him who is


humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.





Hosea 6:6 {True intimacy}


I don’t want your sacrifices—I want your love; I don’t want your 


offerings—I want you to know me.



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