Morning Bible Study
Do you remember what Thursday is???
Play “I’m Full”
The prophet Hosea lived during the time of the divided kingdom. The southern
kingdom was usually called “Judah”. The northern kingdom was known either as
“Israel” or “Ephraim”. Hosea’s job was to speak for God to the northern
Hosea had an unusual home life. God has asked him to marry a prostitute
named Gomer. After he had children with Gomer, Gomer went back to work, being a
prostitute. Then came the most amazing thing of all.
God asked Hosea to pay to get his wife back.
Hosea’s life was to be a picture of God’s love for His people. Even when we
strayed, God loved us so much He paid to get us back.
9:1-17 Judgment is coming
:1 Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other
peoples, For you have played the harlot against your God. You have made love for
hire on every threshing floor.
Hosea’s wife was a picture of what the nation was doing.
:2 The threshing floor and the winepress Shall not
feed them, And the new wine shall fail in her.
:3 They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land, But Ephraim shall return
to Egypt, And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
:3 Ephraim shall return to Egypt
The judgment will involve scattering the people all across the world, including
Egypt, the place where they were once slaves.
:3 shall eat unclean things in
We talked on Thursday about the Levitical laws
about what was clean and unclean for Jews to eat and what wasn’t.
Bats were forbidden to eat. Bacon
and shrimp were forbidden.
:4 They shall not offer wine offerings to
the Lord, Nor shall their
sacrifices be pleasing to Him. It shall be like bread of mourners to
them; All who eat it shall be defiled. For their bread
shall be for their own life; It shall
not come into the house of the Lord.
:4 bread of mourners
If you touched a dead person, you were considered “unclean”. (Eze. 44:25)
(Ho 9:4 NLT) …None of
your sacrifices there will please him. They will be unclean, like food touched
by a person in mourning…
The sacrifices these people might bring to the Lord will not be accepted.
:5 What will you do in the appointed day, And in
the day of the feast of the Lord?
:6 For indeed they are gone because of
destruction. Egypt shall gather them up; Memphis shall bury them. Nettles shall
possess their valuables of silver; Thorns shall be in their tents.
:6 Memphis shall bury them
Play Memphis map clip
This Memphis is in Egypt, not Tennessee.
There might be “Blues” in Egypt, but certainly no Barbeque.
:7 The days of punishment have come; The days of
recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool,
The spiritual man is insane, Because of the greatness of your iniquity
and great enmity.
:7 The prophet is a fool
This would be the attitude of the people towards the true prophets.
Today people mock and ridicule those who speak Biblical truth.
:8 The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;
But the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways— Enmity in the house
of his God.
(Ho 9:8 The Message) The prophet is looking out for
under God’s orders. But everyone is trying to trip him up. He’s hated
right in God’s house, of all places.
:9 They are deeply corrupted, As in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity; He will punish
:9 As in the days of Gibeah
At the end of the book of Judges (Jud. 19-21), the nation was going through
a period of great wickedness. A man traveling with his concubine through the land of Benjamin spent the night in the town of Gibeah.
While he was staying there, a group of men came and asked for the stranger to
come out so they could have sex with him. When he refused, they ended up taking
the man’s concubine and raping her all night until she was dead.
(Jdg 19:30 NKJV) And so it was
that all who saw it said, “No such deed has been done or seen from the day that
the children of Israel came up from the land of Egypt until this day…”
The entire nation gathered together to bring judgment against the city. The
people of Benjamin rose to defend the wicked city. In the end, Gibeah and most of the tribe of Benjamin were wiped out.
In Hosea’s day, things had gotten as bad as Gibeah. Just as Gibeah
had been judged, now the entire northern kingdom is about to be judged.
you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with
the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its
livestock—with the edge of the sword.
:10 “I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness;
I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree
in its first season.
(Ho 9:10 NLT) The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first
found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert…
But they went to Baal Peor,
And separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like
the thing they loved.
:11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly
away like a bird— No birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!
:12 Though they bring up their children, Yet I
will bereave them to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!
:10 Baal Peor
The story of Baal Peor is found in Numbers 25.
The Midianites ruined the Israelites by sending
their young girls into the camp of Israel to entice the men into worshipping
Baal Peor through sexual immorality.
In ancient days, having lots of kids made you a prosperous man. You would have lots of help plowing and
harvesting your fields.
The immorality of Baal was a “fertility rite”. The goal of Baal worship was to have as many
kids as possible.
:11 their glory shall fly away like a
Their “glory” was their children.
Children are indeed a glorious thing for us.
(Ps 127:3 NKJV) Behold,
children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit
of the womb is a reward.
Yet these people built their families the wrong way, worshiping Baal
instead of following after God.
The result of their immorality would affect their children.
:13 Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a
pleasant place, So Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.”
:13 like Tyre
Israel was becoming prosperous like the city of Tyre,
but their wickedness was leading them into judgment.
:13 bring out his children to the
(Ho 9:13 The Message) I see Ephraim letting his children
run wild. He might
just as well take them and kill them outright!”
:14 Give them, O Lord—
What will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb And
:15 “All their wickedness is in Gilgal, For there I hated them. Because of the evil of
their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will
love them no more. All their princes are rebellious.
:15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal
Apparently by this time, there was some sort of false worship going on in Gilgal. Some have
suggested that human sacrifice was going on.
:16 Ephraim is stricken, Their root is dried up;
They shall bear no fruit. Yes, were they to bear children, I would kill the
darlings of their womb.”
:16 Ephraim … no fruit
The irony is that the name “Ephraim” means “double fruit”. But in judgment they would bear no fruit.
Fruit is a natural product of the plant.
For Israel, their “fruit” involved having kids.
For the Christian, God will produce various things in our lives: the Fruit
of the Spirit, people coming to Christ, answered prayers, etc.
Fruit is tied to our relationship with God:
(Jn 15:5 NKJV) “I am the
vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me,
and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
The nation of Israel has broken themselves off
from the vine and they would no longer bear fruit.
The word “abide” simply means to “stay put”, to “stay where you are”. When
you trusted Christ to save you, God connected you to Jesus. We need to simply
Do you want a fruitful life? Stay
connected to Jesus.
Though I appreciate the sentiment of the video, I’d like to suggest you
need to keep believing in Jesus, and keep running. Without Him you can do nothing. Run to the finish.
:17 My God will cast them away, Because they did
not obey Him; And they shall be wanderers among the nations.
:1 Israel empties his vine; He brings forth
fruit for himself. According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars; According to the bounty of his land They have
embellished his sacred pillars.
:1 …multitude of his fruit He has
increased the altars
(Ho 10:1 NLT) …But the
richer the people get, the more pagan altars they build.
Be careful of thinking that more money is going to fix your problems. Sometimes more money only makes things worse.
Feed me with the food allotted to me;And say, “Who is the Lord?”Or
(1 Ti 6:9–10
NKJV) —9 But those who desire to be rich fall
into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts
which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of
all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their
greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
:2 Their heart is divided; Now they are held
guilty. He will break down their altars; He will ruin their sacred pillars.
:3 For now they say, “We have no king, Because we
did not fear the Lord. And as for
a king, what would he do for us?”
:4 They have spoken words, Swearing falsely in
making a covenant. Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the
:4 judgment springs up like hemlock
Hemlock is similar to a weed, and it grows naturally in the land of
Israel. If a farmer isn’t careful, it will
creep into your plowed fields.
Hemlock is used to make a deadly poison.
Instead of growing food, they were growing poison.
:5 The inhabitants of Samaria fear Because of the
calf of Beth Aven. For its people mourn for it, And its priests shriek for it— Because its glory has
departed from it.
:6 The idol also shall be carried to
Assyria As a present for King Jareb. Ephraim
shall receive shame, And Israel shall be ashamed of
his own counsel.
:5 the calf of Beth Aven
This was one of the golden calves that Jeroboam had set up for worship in
the northern kingdom in the city of Bethel.
The people of Samaria were very concerned about losing their golden calf.
It would end up being carried off as a present to the king of Assyria.
:7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off Like
a twig on the water.
:8 Also the high places of Aven,
the sin of Israel, Shall be destroyed. The thorn and thistle shall grow on
their altars; They shall say to the mountains, “Cover
us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
:8 They shall say to the mountains,
This is the same phrase that the unbelievers will use during the
Tribulation period, when God’s judgment begins to fall on the earth.
(Re 6:16 NKJV) and said
to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who
sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!
It’s amazing to think that when people are experiencing judgment from God, that
they try to hide from God instead of turning from their sin and asking for
:9 “O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah; There they stood. The battle in Gibeah
against the children of iniquity Did not overtake
(Ho 10:9 NLT) The Lord says, “O Israel, ever since Gibeah, there has been only sin and more sin! You have made
no progress whatsoever. Was it not right that the wicked men of Gibeah were attacked?
:10 When it is My desire, I will chasten
them. Peoples shall be gathered against them When I
bind them for their two transgressions.
:11 Ephraim is a trained heifer That loves
to thresh grain; But I harnessed her fair neck, I will make Ephraim pull
a plow. Judah shall plow; Jacob shall break his clods.”
:11 a trained heifer
A cow that is used to thresh the grain is simply pulling a light load while
walking through a pile of food. The cow
is able to bend down and eat whenever it wants.
Easy work compared to pulling a plow.
They have had it easy living in the land of Israel.
But not any longer. There will be rough times ahead.
:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow
ground, For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
:13 You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped
iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because
you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.
:14 Therefore tumult shall arise among your
people, And all your fortresses shall be plundered As Shalman
plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle— A mother
dashed in pieces upon her children.
:15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
Because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel Shall be cut off utterly.
:14 As Shalman
plundered Beth Arbel
This is speaking of an Assyrian battle that had already taken place at
Play Arbel map clip
Arbel is the tallest peak overlooking the Sea of
Several sides of the hill are steep cliff walls. You don’t want your children tossed off those
:12 Break up your fallow ground
When farmers properly rotate their crops, they will take a field that has
been producing well, plow the field, and let it lay there without planting
seed. When the land lays “fallow” for a
period of time, its fertility is restored.
But if you let a piece of land lay fallow for two long, the soil gets
hard. If your soil is hard like a rock,
you can plant all the seed you want, but nothing’s going to grow.
The thing you want to do before planting in fallow ground is to break it
Breaking hard hearts
The ground is our hearts. Do you
have a hard heart?
Is the seed of the word of God no longer able to penetrate your heart?
Do you find that you no longer get too excited about the things of God?
It’s time to “break up” the hardness of your heart.
Back in the early 1800’s, God used a man named Charles Finney and others to
bring a wonderful revival, known as the Second Great Awakening, when millions
came to believe in Jesus.
One of Finney’s most famous sermons was based on our text in Hosea. Finney suggested that the way to “break up
the fallow ground” was to start by examining your own heart, recognizing where
you are falling short, and change.
He gave a list of some 26 areas to examine our lives, though we’ll just
look at three. You
can find his sermon here.
These are his words:
“Ingratitude. Take this sin and
write down under that heading all the times you can remember where you have
received favors from God and others for which you have never expressed
gratitude or thankfulness. How many cases can you remember? Some remarkable
change of events, that saved you from ruin. Write down the instances of God's
goodness to you when you were in sin, before your conversion, for which you
have never been half thankful enough; and the numerous mercies you have
received since. How long the list of instances, where your ingratitude has been
so black that you are forced to hide your face in confusion! Go on your knees
and confess them one by one to God, and ask forgiveness. The very act of
confession, by the laws of suggestion, will bring up others to your memory. Put
these down. Go over them three or four times in this way, and see what an
astonishing number of mercies there are for which you have never thanked God.”
Since Thanksgiving is this week, I want to stop for a
second and show you a video to help you chew on what Mr. Finney was saying…
Play Thanksgiving Chair
“Neglect of the Bible. Put down
the cases when for perhaps weeks, or longer, God's Word was not a pleasure.
Some people, indeed, read over whole chapters in such a way that they could not
tell what they had been reading. If so, no wonder that your life is spent at
random, and that your religion is such a miserable failure.”
“Lack of love to God. Think how
grieved and alarmed you would be if you discovered any lack of affection for
you in your wife, husband, or children; if you saw another absorbing their
hearts, and thoughts, and time. Perhaps in such a case you would nearly die
with a just and virtuous jealousy. Now, God calls Himself a jealous God; and
have you not given your heart to other loves and infinitely offended Him?”
Being in the book of Hosea, we’ve been thinking a lot
about the parallel between God’s love and marriage.
Play “Values –
Dishes” video clip.
Is this like your relationship with God? Just missing each other? Are you too busy with your phone to spend
time with God?
Jesus told the church in Ephesus:
2:4–5 NKJV) —4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left
your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the
first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from
its place—unless you repent.
Repenting involves dealing with that “inventory”, figuring
out where you’ve gone off the rails.
And it means that you turn around.
Be careful about adopting an attitude that thinks that God
is out to smash you to bits because of your
Just as Hosea loved his wife Gomer, God loves you.
He wants you back.
He wants you for Himself. He