The Book of Hosea
The Book of Hosea
By Richard St.James
Bible 1611.Com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2023
Hosea, chapter eleven:
Verse one: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”
Called my son out of Egypt:
We have here, in verse one, one of the many prophecies in the Old Testament which in the New Testament [Matthew 2:15] was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and proving to Israel that HE is the SON of GOD, their Messiah.
“And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” [Matthew 2:15]
When Israel was a child, then I loved him.
The beginning of love with your beloved is a fresh, and powerful thing, and is full of expression. The Song of Solomon [which portrays the bride as a type of body of Christ, the church] paints this beautiful picture:
“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” [Song of Solomon 2:10]
Israel was the apple of his eye! [See Zechariah 2:8]
Verse two: “As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.”
The LORD sent his prophets to them. The prophets called them, but the people rejected the prophets. This is seen in the Second book of the Chronicles, chapter twenty-four, verse nineteen:
“Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.” [2 Chronicles 24:19]
They turned from God, and thus, they defiled themselves.
So, it is with us [the Christians] today. We quench the Spirit of God within us, even though we are commanded not to quench him:
“Quench not the Spirit.” [1 Thessalonians 5:19]
We do this to our own hazard. We will end up defiled suffering the loss of our testimony.
Rather let it be as it says in the Epistle to the Romans, chapter eight, in verse four:
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Verse three: “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.”
Israel in its youth was graciously coddled by the LORD God as a father succor his child. But the child grew up and was not thankful. Oh yes, this is so painfully true.
But they rebelled against me. Look at what the prophet said in the book of Isaiah:
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” [Isaiah 1:2]
Verse four: “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.”
The LORD says I restrained them for their good. I set them free.
Here following is revealed my goodness toward them: The LORD nurtured them. The LORD protected them. What is more, HE favored them over all the other nations. HE further, comforted them. HE fed them. HE loved them. Now we can see a glimpse of this beautiful relationship in the Song of Solomon, chapter two, verse four:
O for such love as this.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” [Song of Solomon 2:4]
Verse five: “He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.”
Over the centuries, Israel has had a strange desire to return to Egypt. Turn to the fourth book of Moses called Numbers, chapter eleven, verse five:
“We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:” [Numbers 11:5]
Egypt: A type of the world.
Although, admittedly, part of this desire was for the leeks and onions, [the things for the belly], but what they really wanted was to go back to their former ways [the old life] when they were under bondage to the god of this world. [2 Corinthians 4:4]
This idea of returning to Egypt is seen earlier in this commentary [in Hosea, chapter seven, sixteen, chapter eight, verse thirteen, and again in chapter nine, verse three].
Returning to Egypt was deep imbedded in their hearts.
“And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” [Numbers 14:4]
Now, the LORD God had straightly warned them [the leaders of the people] to not ever return to Egypt [in Deuteronomy chapter seventeen, verse sixteen]:
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return into Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.” [Deuteronomy 17:16]
And if they returned, it would be for their destruction as seen in the book of Jeremiah, chapter forty-four, verse fourteen:
“So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to the which they have a desire to return to dwell there: for none shall return but such as shall escape.” [Jeremiah 44:14]
But what of us that are in Jesus Christ? What is our Egypt? It is the world.
Love not the world.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” [1 John 2:15]
Do not desire Egypt!!!
Lesson: If one needs help in the time of need, then run to the LORD. Go ahead! Run to the LORD! Do not turn to the world for help. For vain is the world’s help.
“Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!” [Isaiah 31:1]
Verse six: “And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.”
One that seeks for counsel that matches his own preconceived agenda is headed for his own destruction. He will fall. Remember for this, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, in the First book of Kings, chapter twelve, eight:
“But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:” [1 Kings 12:8]
Rehoboam reaped disaster. He lost the northern ten tribes of Israel because of his own counsel.
The sword did come to Israel. Read your Bible.
Verse seven: “And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.”
Notice that word bent. It means it is in our nature as sinners as the sons of Adam to quit on God.
Israel had a bent to backsliding.
Prone to leave the God that loved them!
Notice: They did not heed the prophets.
Though they called them to the most High.
Read Jeremiah, chapter twenty-nine, verse nineteen:
“Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.” [Jeremiah 29:19]
Christians today have the same problem. Look around you, my friend. Now, look inside of yourself.
Is your bent to glorify Jesus Christ no matter what?
We need to harken to this command in the book of Romans, chapter fifteen, verse six:
“That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Romans 15:6]
Verse eight: “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.”
The LORD is contemplating the horror of His coming judgment upon the nation of Israel for all their harlotry. It grieves Him to no end, because of all the love he has for them. The thought of raining fire and brimstone upon His people [as was done to Admah and Zeboim] caused His heart to be tortured within Him. These same agonizing thoughts of the LORD are also seen later in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter thirteen, verse thirty-four:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” [Luke 13:34]
This here now marks the turning point. See with me something so beautiful. It is this: The LORD is so gracious.
Here it is in Psalm one-hundred and three, verses eight through fourteen:
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” [Psalm 103:8-14]
Now, we move to verse nine in our text.
Verse nine: “I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.”
God pulled His punches on the people of Israel. God’s intention was not for their total and complete destruction.
The LORD God always has in mind a timely restoration of His people [Israel]. For their harlotry, judgment must come. After the judgment, then there is restoration. This restoration rekindles fellowship.
The sequence involves steps. Here are the steps:
1. The people sin against God.
2. God judges their sin.
3. God heals them.
4. God restores them.
5. The people experience peace with God.
6. The people experience the peace of God.
This very sequence is shown in the book of Isaiah, in chapter fifty-seven, verses seventeen through nineteen:
“For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.” [Isaiah 57:17-19]
Our God is a gracious God. Isaiah, chapter thirty, verse eighteen shows us this:
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” [Isaiah 30:18]
Verse ten: “They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.”
Walking after the LORD:
The Old Testament saint is one that walks after the LORD [keeping his commandments].
Now, walking after the LORD is stated as a command for the whole Hebrew nation to keep in the Fifth book of Moses called Deuteronomy, in chapter thirteen, verse four:
“Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” [Deuteronomy 13:4]
The children shall tremble from the west:
One day, and is soon coming, the Lion of Juda [Revelation 5:5] will appear, and reign from Jerusalem, and all the nations of the earth will tremble. This prophecy is here in this BOOK [in the book of Jeremiah, chapter thirty-three, verses seven through verse nine]:
For Israel, after their judgment, is their restoration:
“And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” [Jeremiah 33:7-9]
Once again, the sequence involves these following steps:
· The people sin against God.
· God judges them for their sin.
· God heals them of their sin, which then, restores the people so that they may once again have peace with God, and as a result, experience the peace of God.
Verse eleven: “They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.”
They will be brought back to the LAND, and placed into their houses. This is simple. This is fact. It is all coming true. Amen! It is happening right before our eyes!
Verse twelve: “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints.”
Judah yet ruleth with God.
Ephraim, or Israel, [which was comprised of the northern ten tribes] was much further down the road in apostasy than Judah was. As long as there were still kings reigning over the people [like Hezekiah and Josiah] in the southern kingdom of Judah, there was still hope to be had in the land. Notice for this what the word of God has recorded concerning King Josiah in the Second book of Kings, chapter twenty-three, verse twenty-five:
“And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.” [2 Kings 23:25]
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