Home  Library

Hosea 7-8

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 17, 2013


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

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 kingdom.

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 get his wife back.

Hosea’s life was to be a picture of God’s love for His people.

7:1-10 The Oven

:1 “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside.

:1 I would have healed Israel


God wants to help

As we dig into another passage warning of God’s judgment coming on wicked Israel, keep in mind where God is coming from.
God isn’t just “angry” and looking for a reason to destroy Israel.
God wants to help His people, but they don’t want His help.
Remember the book we’re in – Hosea’s love for his rebellious wife is a picture to the people of God, who loves His people.

:2 They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face.

:3 They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies.

:3 They make a king glad with their wickedness

Solomon wrote,

(Pr 20:26 NKJV) A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them.

Yet these kings were enjoying the wickedness that the nation was involved in.

(Ho 7:3 NLT) “The people entertain the king with their wickedness, and the princes laugh at their lies.

:4 “They are all adulterers. Like an oven heated by a baker— He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough, Until it is leavened.

:4 like an oven

Israel’s passion for the wrongs things is compared to the fire in an oven.

An ancient baker would allow coals to keep burning in the oven while he prepared his dough.

After the dough was prepared, the baker would let it rise overnight.  The coals in the over were still glowing, just waiting to be stirred up to burn bright and bake the bread.

The oven that God is describing isn’t for bread, but for burning up the leaders.

:5 In the day of our king Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine; He stretched out his hand with scoffers.

:6 They prepare their heart like an oven, While they lie in wait; Their baker sleeps all night; In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.

:7 They are all hot, like an oven, And have devoured their judges; All their kings have fallen. None among them calls upon Me.

:7 have devoured their judges

During the years of Hosea’s ministry, four of Israel’s five rulers were assassinated (like bread being burned up).

Zechariah reigned for six months and was killed by Shallum (2Ki. 15:10)
Shallum reigned for one month and was killed by Menahem (2Ki. 15:14)
Menahem reigned 10 years, and be followed by his son Pekahiah who was killed by Pekah (2Ki 15:25)
Pekah would reign for 20 years, and be killed by Hosea (2Ki. 15:30)

:8 “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned.

:8 mixed himself among the peoples

The northern kingdom had made alliances with other nations, like mixing flour and oil to make a cake.

:8 a cake unturned

Have you ever made pancakes and left them cooking too long on one side so they are burnt on one side?

:9 Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, Yet he does not know it.

:9 Aliens have devoured his strength

I have found some actual video footage dating back to the days of ancient Israel …

Play “Kirk vs. the Gorn” clip

Actually this is talking about how Israel was making treaties with other nations like Assyria and Egypt for help, but only ended up being hurt by the treaties.

:9 gray hairs … he does not know

Like an old man who is afraid to acknowledge that he’s getting old.

:10 And the pride of Israel testifies to his face, But they do not return to the Lord their God, Nor seek Him for all this.

7:11-16 The Wrong Help

:11 “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense— They call to Egypt, They go to Assyria.

:12 Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them; I will bring them down like birds of the air; I will chastise them According to what their congregation has heard.

:11 like a silly dove

Doves and pigeons aren’t the smartest of birds.

Play “Goodfeathers
” clip

Israel wasn’t the smartest when it came to its alliances with various nations, like Egypt and Assyria.

Menahem made an alliance with Assyria.
Pekah also made a coalition against Assyria, but the coalition was crushed by the Assyrians.
Hoshea kissed up to the Assyrians for a while, then made a treaty with Egypt.


The Wrong Help

Israel was crying out for help in lots of places except for the right place.
They looked to everyone for help except for God.
When we get ourselves into trouble, where do we turn to for help?
Some of us turn to money – we think that more money is going to be the answer.

We might pick up extra jobs, we might get more loans, we might hit our friends up for money.

Some of us turn to alcohol or drugs.

And when we think we have it under control, something goes wrong in our life and we turn to that “thing” we always turn to.

Some of us turn to pleasure.

Life is bad, so we act out.  We look for new sexual experiences.

Some of us turn to the refrigerator.

And we wonder why we can’t control our weight.

Some of us turn to the mall.

When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.  We think that the rush of getting new “stuff” will solve this emptiness we feel inside.

Have you ever thought about turning to the One who wants to help?
(Is 45:22 NKJV) “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
There is someone who loved you so much that He gave up His life for you.
Jesus died on a cross, not just to get you a ticket to heaven, but to SAVE you.  Not just from hell, but from the messes of this life as well.

:13 “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, Because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them, Yet they have spoken lies against Me.

:13 spoken lies against Me

Israel was God’s nation, having been redeemed by Him and brought out of Egypt, they now are speaking lies about God.

I think about our own nation and the way our nation was established.

We were founded as a nation of God followers.
And now it’s more “politically correct” to turn our back on the God of the Bible than it is to stand up for God’s truth.

I fear that our nation may be one day facing the same kind of judgment that Israel faced.

:14 They did not cry out to Me with their heart When they wailed upon their beds. “They assemble together for grain and new wine, They rebel against Me;

:15 Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms, Yet they devise evil against Me;

:16 They return, but not to the Most High; They are like a treacherous bow. Their princes shall fall by the sword For the cursings of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

:16 They return, but not to the Most High

returnshuwb – to return, turn back

This is the same word used to encourage the nation to turn back to God:
(Ho 6:1 NKJV) Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
They are “turning”, but not to God.

:16 like a treacherous bow

treacherousremiyah – laxness, slackness, deceit, treachery

The same wording is used in:

(Ps 78:57 NKJV) But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

A “treacherous bow” is a weapon that you can’t trust or count on.

It might look like a weapon that can help you against your enemy, but it’s of no help at all.

8:1-14 Whirlwind Harvest

:1Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.

:1 like an eagle

The Assyrians would swoop down on the nation of Israel like an eagle.

:2 Israel will cry to Me, ‘My God, we know You!’

:2 My God, we know You

Israel boasted about knowing God, but it didn’t.

:3 Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.

Jesus said,

(Mt 7:21–23 NKJV) —21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

It’s one thing to pay lip service to God and “say” you know Him.  It’s another to actually follow after Him and do what He says.

People who truly know Him will follow Him.

:4 “They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves— That they might be cut off.

:4 They set up kings, but not by Me

There is a sense in which those in authority have been put there by God.

(Ro 13:1 NKJV) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

But there is also a sense that God has preferences as to who He would rather be in authority.

Sometimes God allows wicked rulers to gain power as a sort of “judgment” on a nation – getting the ruler they deserve.
In our text, Israel has set up their own rulers, rebelling against the house of David.  God allowed it, but it wasn’t His first choice.

:5 Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them— How long until they attain to innocence?

:5 Your calf is rejected

When Jeroboam first split the kingdom, he was worried that his northern kingdom would eventually go back to join the southern kingdom if the people kept going to Jerusalem to worship God.

The new religion he devised to keep the people at home involved golden calves.

So he devised his own religion, very similar to the law of Moses, but with some changes.

He had very similar feasts and sacrifices, but made two places of worship for the people other than Jerusalem.
He made a temple in the north at Dan, and a temple in the south at Bethel.
Since he didn’t have the Ark of the Covenant like the one in Jerusalem, Jeroboam decided to put a golden calf in each of his temples, kind of like the one the Israelites worshipped in the wilderness (Ex. 32).

But in God’s eyes, it was rejected.

:6 For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.

:6 A workman made it, and it is not God


Homemade god

Some people have the idea that it doesn’t matter which religion you are a part of, as long as you believe in “god”.
The problem with that philosophy is that God is not a thing that we just “make up”.

He’s a real person.  He wants us to know Him as He really is, not who we think He is.

I’d like to introduce you to my wife.
Here she is (show a print of her photo).  I think she’s kind of cute, don’t you?  We go on vacations together.  I can walk her around the room with me.  She can even fly (fold the photo into an airplane).  I can even fold her up and put her into my pocket.
After a while you begin to realize that I’m talking about the photo, not the real thing.

My real wife is much, much better than a photo.

This is why God forbid that we should make an “image” of Him.
We’ll never have a good enough “image”.  It will never be all that He is.
There’s a scene in the movie “Cast Away” where the main character played by Tom Hanks has finally gotten off his island and finds that he’s lost his best friend, Wilson.
Play Cast Away – Wilson clip

This is quite an emotional part of the movie, but let’s be honest.  We’re talking about a man crying over a ball, not a real person.

Who is God to you?
Is He somebody you’ve just invented in your mind?
Play One Time Blind I Am Here video
God wants us to know Him.  The real Him.  In truth.

:7 “They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.

:8 Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles Like a vessel in which is no pleasure.

:8 Like a vessel in which is no pleasure

Israel has become like a cracked pot, good for nothing.

:9 For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.

:9 Like a wild donkey alone by itself

Donkeys are famous for their stubborn independent streak.  They don’t want to do what anyone tells them to do.  Israel doesn’t want to do what God asks it to do.

:10 Yes, though they have hired among the nations, Now I will gather them; And they shall sorrow a little, Because of the burden of the king of princes.

:10 burden of the king of princes

The Assyrian king is only going to add burdens (like taxes) to the people.  He won’t help them.

(Ho 8:10 NLT) —10 But though they have sold themselves to many allies, I will now gather them together for judgment. Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king.

:11 “Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, They have become for him altars for sinning.

:12 I have written for him the great things of My law, But they were considered a strange thing.

:13 For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it, But the Lord does not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins. They shall return to Egypt.

In Moses’ day, the people were delivered from slavery in Egypt.

In Hosea’s day, the people would be brought back into slavery, taken captive to Assyria.

In Jeremiah’s day, after the Babylonian conquest, a group went south to Egypt, fleeing from the Babylonians. They were wiped out.

:14 “For Israel has forgotten his Maker, And has built temples; Judah also has multiplied fortified cities; But I will send fire upon his cities, And it shall devour his palaces.”

:11 made many altars for sin

They had many “high places” where people could make sacrifices for their sins.

But instead of dealing with their sins according to God’s Law, they only went further into sin.
They made sacrifices for their sins, but because of their lack of repentance, their sacrifices were unacceptable to God.

:14 forgotten his Maker…built temples

This is a great picture of man’s “religion”.  They were good at constructing religious buildings, but they did not know their God.

:7 sow the wind…reap the whirlwind


Investment strategies

Hosea is using farming language here – sowing and reaping.
Seeds are what you plant now in order to harvest a crop later.
If your seeds are just made of “wind”, you aren’t going to have much of a crop at harvest time.
The things they were “sowing” were their idolatry, treaties with other nations, and their wicked deeds.

What they will “reap” is a “whirlwind”, a tornado, destruction.

George Munzing wrote, “If you cheat in practice, you’ll cheat in the game. If you cheat in your head, you’ll cheat on the test. You’ll cheat on the girl. You’ll cheat on your mate. Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.”
You and I might think of this in terms of investments.
What are you “investing” in?

Where do you spend your time and your money?

Are you investing in things that will produce a real profit for you?

Play Etrade Baby Lottery commercial
I’m not here to talk to you about earthly retirement plans.  I’m here to talk to you about eternal retirement plans.
It’s not a bad thing to plan for your earthly retirement, but keep in mind that you may be able to successfully plan on a comfortable retirement from age 65 until you die, but your life last a whole lot longer than when you die.  Heaven is forever.  What kind of retirement plan will you have there?
Jesus said,
(Mt 6:19–21 NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Are you investing in heaven?  If someone looked at your check register or your day planner, could they tell where you’re really investing?

When you invest in heaven, your heart will be tied to heaven and you will rejoice when you see things that impact heaven.