The Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea

The Book of Hosea
By Richard St.James
Bible 1611.Com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2023

Hosea, chapter eight:

Verse one: Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.”

Set the trumpet to thy mouth.

There is something eerie about “the sound of a trumpet”.

Take note of this, we see God has a “voice” [in Genesis 3:8], which “voice” forms a sound as a wind instrument.  [Pause here for just a moment.  We need to notice something that is very important.]  

The “trumpet” is also, a wind instrument used by God to sound alarms throughout the Bible, and which appears sixty times in the Authorized Version of the Bible of 1611 [A.V. 1611]. [Trumpet = 60 times]

  • Hear with the ear of faith the sound of the “trumpet”:
  • Hear the “trumpet,” the alarm of God, which is “the alarm of war”“Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.  My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.  Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.  How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?”  [Jeremiah 4:18-21]
  • Hear the “trumpet”, the directive of God! “There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” [Exodus 19:13]
  • Hear the “trumpet, the calling of God! “And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.” [Numbers 10:4]

Further, it is shown that the prophets of God did “lift up” their voices “like a trumpet” to show the people their sin.  Read for this in the book of Isaiah this:

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” [Isaiah 58:1]

The “trumpet” is God’s chosen wind instrument to signify to man the timing of some of the most important events of God.  Such it is with the soon coming “translation” of the body of Christ [the Church], which thing is prophesied in the book of First Corinthians, chapter fifteen:

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” [1 Corinthians 15:52]

To see how God communicates to man with a “trumpet” we need to go to the book of Revelation, chapter one.  It is the Apostle John, who heard a voice “as of a trumpet”

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,” [Revelation 1:10].

Now, God has shown a particular love for the trumpet!  We can see this in Revelation chapter four, verse one:

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” [Revelation 4:1]

We see this again in the book of Revelation, chapter eight, that God communicates to angels, and to men [the inhabitants of the earth] with the “other voices of the trumpet” [of the three angels].

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” [Revelation 8:13]

He shall come as an eagle.

This is a fast forward projection [or prophecy] to a time [after the loss and captivity of Ephraim] when Judah is now targeted.  This eagle identified represents Babylon.  Babylon is rising as a world power.  Babylon’s king is Nebuchadnezzar.  Nebuchadnezzar comes as an eagle.  Nebuchadnezzar comes against the house of the LORD as it is shown in the prophecy of Habakkuk, chapter one, verses five through eleven:

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.

They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.

Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.

Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.” [Habakkuk 1:5-11]

Verse two: “Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.”

This real scary!  Is this even in the realm of possibility?  Now, remember what the LORD Jesus Christ said while He was on this earth concerning these Pharisees in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter seven, in verse twenty-three: 

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:23]

Verse three: “Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.”

Rejecting the goodness of God will be only to your own hurt.  The LORD says through his prophet Jeremiah concerning Israel:

“Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.” [Jeremiah 25:7]

It is to your own hurt.

Jeremiah 6:19: “Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.”

Throwing away the good leaves you only with the bad!

Verse four: “They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.”

Since Israel had divorced themselves from the LORD, they were totally free now to run their own lives.  This divorce freed them to pursue their own utopia.  Thus, they became their own gods.

Comment: There is a propensity within men for men to join together in order to seek a utopia without God.  Now, this has been going on ever since the days soon after the world-wide flood of Noah’s day.

Verse five: “Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?”

Question: Who are the gods of the nations?

The answer for us is in the BOOK of the True God.  We have it here in the book of the Psalms, in Psalm ninety-six, verse five:

“For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” [Psalm 96:5] 

The gods of the nations are idols!  All the Gentile nations worship the works of their own hands.  These are IDOLS.   This is what the harlot, Israel in their rebellion always reverted back to the worshipping of the gods of the nations.  Recall that Aaron had taken out his tools, and lo and behold, with his hands he had fashioned a golden calf.  This is all recorded for us in the Second book of Moses, called Exodus, in chapter thirty-two.  Read verse four:

“And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” [Exodus 32:4]

Now Jeroboam took what Aaron had done, and ran with it, to seduce Israel [or Samaria] to buy into his invention of a religious cult.  To see this, open the BOOK to the First book of Kings, chapter twelve, and see this thing, which was conceived in Jeroboam’s heart in a scheme to prevent Israel from ever returning to the sacrifice of the house of the LORD at Jerusalem:

Verse twenty-six through verse thirty:

“And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.” [1 Kings 12:26-30]

So, this whole thing became a sin for them while confounding them with the absolute non-performance of Jeroboam’s idol calf.

Here is the question?

“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?” [Habakkuk 2:18]

Conclusion: A dumb idol will do nothing for you!

Solution: The nation of Israel can achieve “innocency” by receiving their Messiah as Savior.

Verse six: “For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.”

Every idol is going to be smashed.   Guaranteed!  Have you ever noticed something?  Anything man makes does not last, all that man makes is destined for the trash. 

Do you want to end up with nothing at the end of your life?  Look at verse seven.

Verse seven: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

Lesson: For anything to last, the LORD God must be the maker of it.

Verse eight: “Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.”

Everyone around them will think of them as a cursed people.  The Gentile nations will mark them, and classify them as an off-scouring fit for destruction. We find this astonishment plainly described in the book of Jeremiah the prophet in chapter twenty-nine, verse eighteen:

“And I will persecute them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be removed to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and an hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them:” [Jeremiah 29:18].

Verse nine: “For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.”

The northern ten tribes of Israel went into captivity in the year B.C. 721.  This is Israel, a wild ass alone by himself.

This is all chronicled in the Second book of Kings, chapter seventeen.  Read verse seventeen:

“In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.” [2 Kings 17:6]

Now, it did not have to happen this way.  Why, oh why?

Verse ten: “Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.”

There comes a point in time when it is time to stop warning wayward people of a certain destruction if they persist to keep up the mindset of always trying to buy themselves out of all the trouble that comes from their own wrong actions.  For them, hiring other nations to get them out their troubles was not the answer.  Israel needed to listen, and to heed, the prophets that God had sent them in all his goodness and in all his mercy.  They wanted man-made solutions and not God-made solutions to all the problems of life.  Does this sound familiar?

Turn to God!

Now it was time for them to pay the piper, and for them to sorrow a little till they repent, and learn their lessons.   There is way out of all of this: Turn to God, and God will turn to you.  But they would not turn to God!

Verse eleven: “Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.”

Notice the many altars.  Israel [and Judah] multiplied their altars, and their groves, on every high hill to neglect the one altar they were told to bring their sacrifices, which was at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD [according to the Second book of Moses called Exodus, chapter twenty-nine, verse forty-two].

“This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.” [Exodus 29:42]

Altars by the green trees upon the high hills became sin.

Now, read in the book of Jeremiah the prophet in chapter seventeen, verse one and two:

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.” [Jeremiah 17:1-2]

What became sin for them ended up with sacrifices being made in tears, and with weeping, that could not please God.

This was the situation Israel found herself in the book of Malachi, chapter two, in verse thirteen:

“And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.” [Malachi 2:13]

Altars shall be unto him to sin.

Though Israel would cry and weep over their altars of their sacrifices the sky over them would be as brass.

God would not hear them.

Verse twelve: “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.”

The further we get from God, the harder it gets to hear God.  It all eventually will come to a point that when we do hear the words of God spoken to us, it will sound as a strange thing.  The estrangement from God has come to Israel.  They had the oracles of God but they grew to despise the words of GodThis is sad, sad place to be.

Verse thirteen: “They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.”

All there remains now is judgment for them.

Verse fourteen: “For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.”

It had become so long since they heard from God that they had forgotten God.  It is as it says in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, chapter two, verse two:

“Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.” [Jeremiah 2:32]

Blessed or cursed: What shall it be?

In the Fifth book of Moses called Deuteronomy is a list of blessings and of curses.  The people of God [Israel] were given the LORD a clear choice to make.

Deuteronomy, twenty-eight:

Verse one: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:”

Verse two: “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.”

In verses three through fourteen are the blessings that would accrue to them if they would hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.  The LORD wanted to bless the people with twelve blessings! 

But now we come to verse fifteen:

Verse fifteen: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:”

In verses sixteen through sixty-eight are the curses that would befall the people of God if they would not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 

We can learn from history by what has happened to Israel.  They have been suffering [for the nearly two thousand years] under the curses that are contained here in these verses.   All of these fifty-two curses have come down upon their pates.

We will end here in our commentary of Hosea, chapter eight.

 Next - Hosea Chapter Nine


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