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Hosea 9-10

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 24, 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

Do you remember what Thursday is???

Play “I’m Full” Thanksgiving video

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 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 Assyria

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)

(Eze 44:25 NKJV) “They shall not defile themselves by coming near a dead person. Only for father or mother, for son or daughter, for brother or unmarried sister may they defile themselves.

(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.  There is no “buying” their way out of the judgment that is coming.

:5 What will you do in the appointed day, And in the day of the feast of the Lord?

When in captivity in Assyria, they would not be able to celebrate the Jewish feasts.

: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 Ephraim, working 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 their sins.

:9 As in the days of Gibeah

Those of you who are learning to read through your Bible each year, here’s where your reading begins to pay off.

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.

God warned the people in Deuteronomy that He wanted them to be careful that they weren’t led astray to worship other gods.  If a person was trying to lead you astray to other gods, they were to be put to death.  God commanded that even cities ought to be wiped out if they stray from the Lord to worship idols.

(Dt 13:12–15 NKJV) —12 “If you hear someone in one of your cities, which the Lord your God gives you to dwell in, saying, 13 ‘Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods” ’—which you have not known—14 then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, 15 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 bird

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

Tyre was the capital of the Phoenician empire, located to the north of Israel.

The Phoenicians were sailors, known for their ships that travelled the world.  The people of Tyre grew rich as they developed extensive trade routes.

(Eze 28:5 NKJV) By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches…

Israel was becoming prosperous like the city of Tyre, but their wickedness was leading them into judgment.

:13 bring out his children to the murderer

(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 dry breasts!

: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

Gilgal was where Joshua camped after first getting across the Jordan.  It was a headquarters of sorts at the beginning of the conquest of Israel.  It was where the men were all circumcised before going into battle.

Gilgal was also where King Saul had waited for Samuel the prophet before launching out on one of his military campaigns.  When Samuel didn’t show up, Saul did a stupid thing and performed a sacrifice to God on his own.  When Samuel showed up, he warned Saul that the kingdom was going to be torn from him.

Apparently by this time, there was some sort of false worship going on in Gilgal.  Some have suggested that human sacrifice was going on.

:15 I will drive them from My house

This kind of language was often used to describe how God would drive the Canaanites from the land as Israel came in to conquer it. Now they’ve come full circle and God is driving them out.

: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 “stay put”.
Do you want a fruitful life?  Stay connected to Jesus.
Play “Values – Finish Line” video clip.
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.

:17 they shall be wanderers

There is a figure from medieval Christian mythology called “The Wandering Jew” (see pic).  The legend had to do with a Jewish man who taunted Jesus on the cross and was cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming.

But this verse is not mythology.

The tribe of Judah would be brought back to the land of Israel for a couple hundred years after the Babylonian captivity, but forty years after having rejected Jesus as their Messiah they would be scattered once again.
The majority of Israel would be scattered among the nations since the time of the Assyrian captivity for a couple thousand years until 1948 when the nation of Israel was reborn and the people of Israel have been starting to make their way back to the land.

10:1-15 Judgment

: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.

(Pr 30:8–9 NKJV) —8 …Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; 9 Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.

(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 field.

: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.

It takes only 100mg to kill a person.  It paralyzes a person’s muscles until they are no longer able to breathe and they die due to a lack of oxygen.

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.

:5 priests – a rare Hebrew word that is used to describe priests of Baal.

: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.

:6 King Jareb – Probably Tiglath-Pileser III (also in Hos. 5:13).

: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  thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars

There are no altars in these places any more.

:8 They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”

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 mercy.

: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 them.

(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

(Ho 10:11 NLT) “Israel is like a trained heifer treading out the grain— an easy job she loves. But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck. I will force Judah to pull the plow and Israel to break up the hard ground.

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.

:13 eaten the fruit of lies

: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 Mount Arbel.

Play Arbel map clip

Arbel is the tallest peak overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Several sides of the hill are steep cliff walls.  You don’t want your children tossed off those cliffs.

:15 done to you, O Bethel

Bethel was the place where one of the calf idols was.

Bethel means “House of God”

Hosea has been calling it “Beth Aven” (House of wickedness)

: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 up.


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 video

“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:

(Re 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 hard heart.

Just as Hosea loved his wife Gomer, God loves you.

He wants you back.  He wants you for Himself.  He loves you.

4. Unbelief. Recall the instances in which you have virtually charged the God of truth with lying, by your unbelief of His express promises and declarations. God has promised to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. Now, have you believed this? Have you expected Him to answer? Have you not virtually said in your hearts, when you prayed for the Holy Spirit: "I do not believe that I shall receive"? If you have not believed nor expected to receive the blessing which God has expressly promised, you have charged Him with lying.

5. Neglect of prayer. Think of the times when you have neglected secret prayer, family prayer, and prayer meetings; or have prayed in such a way as more grievously to offend God than to have omitted it altogether.