Hosea 1-2

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 26, 2013

Pastor Chuck’s Memorial Service – simulcast here in the sanctuary or watch online.

Movie 5-paks from Thursday night. $20 each, including the Hosea movie and the Gospel of John.

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?

Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

Introduction

In the days of Hosea, Israel was a divided kingdom. (Play Hosea map clip)

The southern kingdom was known as Judah after the largest tribe.

The northern kingdom was called either Israel, Ephraim (the largest tribe) or Samaria (the capital city).  The border between the two nations ran just south of the city of Bethel.

Hosea ministered to the people of the northern kingdom.

1:1 Hosea’s Time

:1 The word of the Lord that came to 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.

Hosea’s ministry started somewhere around the year 753 BC, and would last about 40 years until around 710 BC, 12 years after the fall of the northern kingdom.

There were several other prophets with ministries at this time.

The prophets Amos and Jonah started before Hosea, and their ministries ended around the time that Hosea’s started.

There were two prophets in the southern kingdom whose ministries were at the same time as Hosea’s:  Isaiah and Micah.

The first three chapters of the book will deal heavily with Hosea’s messy personal life, yet we will see the themes of Hosea’s personal life woven throughout the book.

The remaining chapters contain messages given through his ministry.

There are three main themes woven throughout: The sins of the people, the certainty of judgment, and God’s loyal love.

:1 Hosea the son of Beeri

In the Bible, names often carry importance or meaning, unlike our modern English names.

HoseaHowshea = “salvation”

This is the same name of the fellow we usually refer to as “Joshua” (Num. 13:16)
(Nu 13:16 NKJV) —16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.
Joshua means “Yahweh saves” (and is the Hebrew form of “Jesus”)
A related name is “Isaiah”, which also means “Yahweh saves”.

:1 in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah

These are the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah who reigned during Hosea’s ministry, and this gives us the scope of his time period.

Hosea lived at the time of the fall of the northern kingdom. His ministry was to warn the nation of the coming judgment, and the judgment would come during his ministry. 

:1 Jeroboam the son of Joash

This fellow is also called Jeroboam II.  His reign over the northern kingdom ended in 753 BC.

Hosea’s ministry began at the end of the reign of Jeroboam II. 

Even though there are six kings who reign after Jeroboam II during Hosea’s lifetime, they are not mentioned by name.
(Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah, Hoshea)
Jeroboam had reigned 41 years over the northern kingdom. Even though he is called an “evil” king, as all the northern kings were, he did bring prosperity and actually enlarged the northern kingdom.
Though the northern kingdom had material prosperity they were spiritually bankrupt.
Messages about coming judgment might sound pretty unlikely.
Yet during Hosea’s ministry, (play Assyrian map clip) the Assyrians would begin to pick off major cities one at a time.  Hazor and Damascus would fall in 734 BC.  Megiddo would fall in 732 BC.  In 722 BC, the rest of the northern kingdom would fall to the Assyrians.

1:2-9 Hosea’s messy family

:2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the Lord.”

:2 take yourself a wife of harlotry

Hosea is asked to go marry a gal who was a prostitute. And he’s supposed to have children with her, children who may or may not be his biological children.

If it weren’t for the fact that we know God was the one who asked Hosea to do this, we might question his sanity.  We might even question his own relationship with God.

Hosea is asked to do this because his life will be a living picture of God’s relationship with His people.

It was not unusual for God to have a prophet do something to get a message across:

At times Isaiah was asked to do things as a picture of some prophecy. One time God asked Isaiah to go naked for three years, foreshadowing when the Assyrians would conquer Egypt and make their captives walk naked and barefoot (Isaiah 20).
The prophet Ezekiel was told to make bread out of certain vegetables and cook it over manure (Eze. 4), symbolizing what the people in Jerusalem were doing.

Hosea will be representing God.  God has a “marriage”, a connection with His nation of Israel.  God’s people have been unfaithful to Him like a harlot.

How will God treat these people who have been unfaithful?

Lesson

The Illustrated Bible

Hopefully we aren’t asked to do what Hosea had to do, but like it or not, our lives are God’s favorite way of showing the world what He is like.  When some people would question how good Paul’s ministry was among the Corinthians, he wrote,
(2 Co 3:3 NLT) Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Some people prefer picture books to words on a page.  Your life is those pictures.

Your life may be the only Bible that some people will ever read.

Our marriages also ought to be an example of God, but in a different way than Hosea’s.  Our marriages are to be a living picture of Jesus and the church
(Eph 5:22–32 NKJV) —22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Paul will tell us that the marriage relationship ought to be a picture of Jesus’ relationship with His church.  The wife represents the church and Jesus represents the husband.

Submission is a difficult thing for anyone to swallow. We’re all supposed to be submitting to one another (Eph. 5:21), but here the focus is on the wives submitting to the husband.

Wives, the way you submit to your husband is a picture. It is telling the world about how the church should submit and follow Jesus. Does your marriage show the right picture?

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

The way a husband treats his wife is another picture. Men, what would life be like for us in the church if Jesus treated us the way you treat your wife? Scary, isn’t it?

A man’s love for his wife ought to be sacrificial. Jesus laid down everything for us. A man’s love for his wife changes her for the good – she grows more and more beautiful under the right kind of love.

Illustration

Going For The Juggler

A juggler, driving to his next performance, is stopped by the police. “What are these matches and lighter fluid doing in your car?” asks the cop. “I’m a juggler and I juggle flaming torches in my act.” “Oh yeah?” says the doubtful cop. “Lets see you do it.” The juggler gets out and starts juggling the blazing torches masterfully. A couple driving by slows down to watch. “Wow,” says the driver to his wife. “I’m glad I quit drinking. Look at the test they’re giving now!

If people were to “drive by” our marriage, would they get the right picture about God by watching us?

28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Jesus is not only a husband to the church. He is also the “head” of His own body, which is also the church. A head is sure to take care of its body just as Jesus takes care of the church. When a man and woman are married, they are “one flesh”, like a head and a body. You are doing yourself good by taking care of your body. Take care of your wife. It’s good for you.

32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

You see, Paul really wasn’t talking about only marriage. He wants us to focus on the whole idea that our marriage is a picture of Jesus and the church.

I’m glad that we get to be a picture of Jesus and the church and not God and Israel.

:3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

:3 he went and took Gomer

Gomer = “complete”

I wonder if she looked like … Gomer Pyle…

:4 Then the Lord said to him: “Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.

:4 JezreelYitzr@‘e’l – “God sows”

Sometimes a prophet will name his child because the name itself means something, but here the importance of Jezreel is not the meaning of the name.

(Play Jezreel map clip)

Jezreel was the name of a city where wicked King Ahab had his summer house.
It would be the place where one of Ahab’s captains, Jehu, would kill Ahab’s son and wife, Jezebel, and eventually wipe out all the descendants of Ahab.
That’s the bloodshed that would be avenged.
Even though God had warned Ahab and his house that he and his descendants would be wiped out because of Ahab’s sins, that didn’t mean that whoever killed the house of Ahab would get an automatic gold star in God’s eyes.
Jehu was commended by God for what he had done in wiping out Ahab and wiping out the worship of Baal (2Ki. 10:29-31), but he didn’t do all that he should have done in that he left the golden calves to continue.
Jezreel was also the name of the valley where the city of Megiddo was.
God promised Jehu that his descendants up to the fourth generation would rule over Israel as a reward for the good things he did (2Ki. 10:30), but on the other hand they wouldn’t go past the fourth generations because Jehu didn’t go all the way with his faith, he only did part of what God wanted him to do.

:5 It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

:5 break the bow of Israel in … Jezreel

There is a play on words going on here in the Hebrew.

Jezreel[email protected]‘el
IsraelYisra’el

breaking the bow” speaks of breaking the military might of a nation.

The current king of the northern kingdom, Jeroboam II, was the third generation after Jehu and was about to die. When Jeroboam’s son, Zechariah comes to power, he would only rule for six months before being killed (2Ki. 15:8-12).
Not only would there be a change in dynasties, but Megiddo, the city that sits on a bluff overlooking the valley would fall to the Assyrians in 732 BC.
Trivia note: The valley of Jezreel is also the location of the future battle of Armageddon (which is not fulfilled by this verse)

:6 And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away.

:6 Lo-RuhamahLo’ Ruchamah – “no mercy”

Here, the name of child will mean something.

The name could also be translated, “not loved”, a pretty tragic name to be giving your baby.

She is a reminder that that God would have no mercy on Israel.

:7 Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the Lord their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.”

:7  mercy on … Judah

Even though the northern kingdom would be wiped out by the Assyrians, the southern kingdom was not. When the army of the Assyrians came against Hezekiah at Jerusalem, God promised to save the city. The people trusted the Lord. They prayed. And God sent an angel that wiped out 185,000 Assyrians in a single night (Isa. 36-37).

:8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.

:9 Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.

:9 Lo-AmmiLo’ ‘Ammiy – “not my people”

It kind of makes me wonder if Hosea was unsure if he was the father of this child or not. What would people think when they asked Hosea what the boy’s name was and he answered, “not my people”, which would seem like he’s saying, “not my son”.

:9 I will not be your God

The phrase could literally be translated, “and I AM not I AM to you” and could possibly refer to God’s famous talk with Moses, where Moses asked what God’s name was, and God replied, “I AM that I AM”.

Now God would be no longer “I AM” to those people.

1:10 – 2:1 Hope

:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’

:10 sons of the living God

Even though there was judgment coming, it wouldn’t be permanent.  There would be a day when Israel would once again be great.

:11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!

:11 Shall be gathered together

There will be a day when Israel would not be divided into two kingdoms, but would be united as one nation, after God gathers the Jews back into their land (like now???).

:11 great will be the day of Jezreel

Perhaps this might even be talking about the battle of Armageddon (which takes place in the valley of Jezreel) when the nations of the world are gathered together to fight against the coming Messiah.  God is the one who wins and evil is defeated.

2:1 Say to your brethren, ‘My people,’ And to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’

:1  My people

There would be a day when the “not my people” would be called “my people”, and where “no mercy” will find mercy.

Lesson

God’s not finished

Sometimes all we can think about is how we’ve failed God. It’s hard to see past the guilt and condemnation.
But God isn’t finished with you yet. He certainly isn’t finished with the nation of Israel.
We have promises that remind us that God is still working on us:
(Php 1:6 NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Remember the verses about the husband and wife? The husband (Jesus) keeps washing the wife (the church) in the water of His Word, removing the spots and wrinkles, getting her (the church) ready to meet His Father.
Keep going. Don’t give up. God hasn’t given up on you yet.

2:1-13 The Divorce

:2 “Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts;

:2 Let her put away her harlotries

It is often the case nowadays that after the kids are born, that a wife might go back to work.  Apparently Gomer has gone back to work… as a prostitute.

Lesson

The pain of betrayal

Some of you know what it is like to have been betrayed by the one you love the most.
You know that you never want to experience pain like that again.
Hosea is experiencing what God has been going through as His people have walked away from Him and have pursued other “gods”.
This is what God experiences when we walk away from Him.
Illustration
Do you remember the mess when it came out that vice presidential candidate John Edwards had been having an affair?

Play Elizabeth Edwards Pain clip.

Elizabeth Edwards described the agony she experienced when she learned of her husband's infidelities:

After I cried, and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up. And the next day John and I spoke. He wasn't coy, but it turned out he wasn't forthright either.  I felt that the ground underneath me had been pulled away.

…I am imperfect in a million ways, but I always thought I was the kind of woman, the kind of wife to whom a husband would be faithful. I had asked for fidelity, begged for it, really, when we married. I never need flowers or jewelry. I don't care about vacations or a nice car. But I need you to be faithful. Leave me, if you must, but be faithful to me if you are with me.

For those of you who know the pain of betrayal, God knows exactly what you have gone through.

:2 Bring charges

Hosea is speaking the legal language of divorce.

He has a valid reason to divorce Gomer, just as God had a valid reason to “divorce” Israel.

What we’re going to read is going to blur the lines between what is happening between Hosea and Gomer and what is happening between God and Israel.

:3 Lest I strip her naked And expose her, as in the day she was born, And make her like a wilderness, And set her like a dry land, And slay her with thirst.

:4 “I will not have mercy on her children, For they are the children of harlotry.

:5 For their mother has played the harlot; She who conceived them has behaved shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink.’

:5 I will go after my lovers

Israel’s other “lovers” were the other gods they worshipped instead of Yahweh.

:6 “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, And wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths.

:7 She will chase her lovers, But not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, For then it was better for me than now.’

:7 I will go and return to my first husband

Just like the backslidden Christian who gets into trouble and realizes they were better off when they followed the Lord.

:8 For she did not know That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold— Which they prepared for Baal.

:8 Baal – “lord”

Though this was the name of the chief god of the Canaanites, the word itself means “lord” or “owner” and sometimes can refer to a husband.

:9 “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time And My new wine in its season, And will take back My wool and My linen, Given to cover her nakedness.

:10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, And no one shall deliver her from My hand.

:11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths— All her appointed feasts.

:12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, Of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, And the beasts of the field shall eat them.

:13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.

:13 I will punish her

Lesson

Consequences

Sometimes we have loved ones who behave badly, and we do everything we can to keep them from experiencing the consequences of their actions.
Sometimes when we “rescue” someone we end up helping them stay trapped in their sin.
There is a place for mercy – we will be seeing that in Hosea, but we need to be careful not to get in the way of when God wants to make things difficult for people as a natural consequence of their bad behavior.
I am learning that in some cases, jail is a good thing.

For some people, it might take a few nights living on the streets to realize what their addictions are causing in their life.

They may cry and scream and tell you that you don’t love them, but sometimes the loving thing is to let them experience the consequence of their actions.

The trouble you will get into is when you allow the consequences to come because of your anger.  Sometimes we enjoy their pain too much…
Play Dirty Harry – Make My Day clip.
Our goal is to see things be done in love.
This is the way that God chastises us.  He sometimes allows trouble to come our way so we will wake up and turn around.
(Heb 12:5–6 NKJV) —5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

It’s because of His love that He allows us to experience trouble.

Sometimes we need to learn to back away and allow people to experience the trouble, the consequences of their sins, not out of anger, but out of love.

2:14-23 Mercy

:14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her.

:15 I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

:15 the Valley of Achor as a door of hope

“Valley of trouble”

Lesson

From trouble to hope

The valley got its name with a man named Achan (Josh 7) had stolen and hidden evil forbidden property during the conquest of Jericho in the days of Joshua.  The Israelites had suffered a defeat because of Achan’s hidden sin.  They punished Achan by stoning him, and called the valley “Achor” because Achan had “troubled” Israel, and so they “troubled” him.
(Jos 7:24–26 NKJV) —24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.
When you are in “trouble” because of your sin, you have choices to make.
If you make the right choices and choose to turn away from your sin and to deal with your sin, then you will find a door of “hope” at the end of the tunnel
(Heb 12:11 NKJV) Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

:16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’

:16 My Husbandishi – man, husband

:16 My Masterba’ali – master, lord

There are actually times (like here) when God (Yahweh) is referred to as “ba’al”.  But here the point is that the people will stop confusing the worship of Ba’al with the worship of Yahweh.  They won’t ever use Ba’al again.

Perhaps for Hosea and Gomer there will be a transition in their relationship as well.  Perhaps they will go from Hosea being her “master” to her “husband”.  A “husband” is always preferable in a marriage to a “master”.

:17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.

:19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;

:20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord.

:20 betroth … know

betrotharas – to betroth, engage

knowyada– to know

These are words of intimacy.

“Betroth” speaks more than just engagement.  It speaks of a new beginning between a man and a woman, between a person and God.

“Know” is same word to describe the physical relationship between a man and a woman.  It’s what results in children.  Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she became pregnant (Gen. 4:1).

This is a picture of a new marriage.  They are starting over.

:21 “It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer,” says the Lord; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth.

:22 The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel.

:23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ”

:23 I will have mercy

Lesson

Mercy is here

The daughter “No mercy” will now be called “Mercy”.  The son “Not-my-people” will be called “My people”.
Paul quotes this verse (Rom. 9:25-26) to remind his readers that God will one day have compassion on the nation of Israel.  God hasn’t given up on them.
(Ro 9:25–26 NKJV) —25 As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” 26 “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
God hasn’t given up on you either.  It’s like He wants to “adopt” you.

Play I like adoption video clip

Loving others unconditionally is not just “generous”, it is what “mercy” is all about.

Perhaps today is the day for you to come back to the Lord.
There is love waiting for you.