The Book of Hosea
The Book of Hosea
By Richard St.James
Bible 1611.Com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2023
Hosea, chapter nine:
Verse one: “Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.”
The other people here are of the nations of this world. They are the unrighteous, the unsaved people of the world [1 Corinthians 6:9]. When the unrighteous rejoice for joy, they are signifying that they are enjoying the pleasures of sin. This is unlike what Moses’ chose:
“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” [Hebrews 11:25].
Israel was separated from all the other nations to be in a special relationship [called marriage] with the LORD.
There is a reward to be had upon every cornfloor.
Rather than be true to the LORD, she had decided to go a whoring from her God. She yearned for the rewards that this old world has to offer for all those who desire to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
Verse two: “The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.”
There are some who only learn their lessons from the school of hard knocks. Israel doggedly pursued the pleasures this world offers, doing their own thing, but in the end, they always came up dry just as the wisest man who ever lived on this earth concluded by the Holy Ghost:
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 2:11]
When you are running from God: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. This is known as Murphy’s Law.
Remember, everything in that list in Deuteronomy twenty-eight was to come to pass if they chose the way of the curse. And they did!
Verse three: “They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.”
They shall not dwell in the LORD'S land.
We commented earlier in this commentary [in chapter three, verse four] about the diaspora.
This is also called the dispersion. DISPERSION = REMOVAL FROM THE LAND
As stipulated in the Fifth book of Moses called Deuteronomy, chapter twenty-eight, God would scatter them if they committed harlotry.
“And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” [Deuteronomy 28:64]
The First Dispersion
First, Israel’s removal occurred in B.C. 721. This is recorded for us in 2 Kings 17:23:
“Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”
Second, Judah’s removal occurred in B.C. 610. This is recorded for us in 2 Kings 23:27:
“And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”
The Second Dispersion
The second dispersion of the Jewish people occurred in [A.D. 70].
This is all come true. It is now history!
- Ezekiel 12:15: “And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries.”
- Ezekiel 20:23: “I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;”
- Ezekiel 22:15: “And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.”
Note: The dispersal which occurred in A.D. 70 is not the end of the physical state of Israel. There is a restoration of the physical state of Israel also prophesied.
This prophecy is located in the Epistle to the Romans in chapter eleven, verses twenty-five and six:
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” [Romans 11:25-26]
In that day!
Israel is coming back to THE LAND [Zechariah 13:1-2].
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
Ever since 1917 they have been coming back to THE LAND!
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated that the British government “views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and would use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.”
Verse four: “They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the LORD.”
There was no house of the LORD.
From A.D. 70, and until, 1917 they were dispersed through all the nations of the earth. There were no wine offerings. They ate the unclean things in Assyria. They were a defiled people, seemingly without hope, and without a temple to bring their sacrifices.
Verse five: “What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?”
A defiled people are in a locked-down state. They are paralyzed. They cannot from their heart sing unto God and worship as instructed by the word of God.
Now, see what the Spirit saith for this in Psalm eighty-one, verses one through three:
“Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.” [Psalm 81:1-3]
What will ye do?
So, what can one do in this situation when you are defiled and in tribulation?
Turn to God, and then, God will turn to you. The answer is shown here in Deuteronomy chapter four, verses thirty and thirty-one:
“When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” [Deuteronomy 4:30-31]
Verse six: “For, lo, they are gone because of destruction: Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them: the pleasant places for their silver, nettles shall possess them: thorns shall be in their tabernacles.”
They are gone!
Destruction has opened her mouth. It consumes you, and you never get any rest. It is like going through a meat grinder: No ease, no rest, and no peace.
It is the worst of everything that can happen to a people.
Verse seven: “The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.”
It is every day a cloudy day. It is murky out there. The time is near:
“For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.” [Ezekiel 30:3]
Nobody can see for the evil in the day. The sinner is blind, therefore, he stumbles and he falls, and seemingly, no one cares. It is, as Jesus Christ said, in the Gospel of John, chapter eleven, verse ten:
“But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” [John 11:10]
The spiritual man is mad.
In the cloudy evil day all the counsellers will fail. Read Job, chapter twelve, verse seventeen:
“He leadeth counsellers away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.” [Job 12:17]
This is all happening before our very eyes.
Verse eight: “The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.”
The prophet is a snare of a fowler
There is a day when the prophet will behave as a bull in the china shop. He will hurt the flock of sheep rather than nurse them. He will be reckless in situations that require a surgical delicacy and care.
A prophet [or a pastor] who breaks things [the things being the relationships], or who often misapplies the word of God, or causes damage in those situations that require prayerful, and careful thinking, or behavior is like a bull in a china shop. He will tend to destroy more than he will heal, and he literally will cause hatred in the house of his God.
Verse nine: “They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.”
Gibeah is the blackest spot in Israel’s history. [See for this in the book of Judges, chapter eighteen and nineteen.
Judges 19:22 “Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.”
[Note: This is a replica of what happened in Lot’s day in the first book of Moses called Genesis, chapter nineteen.]
This outcome always happens to a people whenever the sons of Belial rise up, and control the government of a people or a land.
Verse ten: “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.”
I found Israel like grapes.
I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree.
In the time of youth is the beginning of life. There is an innocence. There is a newness. There is a desire for a pure relationship. She seeks for the One who loves her.
It is the LORD who has sought Israel out from all the other nations, and to seek things for her good in a beautiful relationship to last forever. It is a fair and very beautiful story, and the story is still being told.
This story is told in a BOOK. This BOOK is the BOOK of the LORD! And in this BOOK we will find a most worth goal for Israel in Psalm one-hundred and thirty-two. We will see here a glimpse of God’s goal concerning the apple of his eye:
“For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.
This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.
His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” [Psalm 132:13-18]
BUT - they went to Baalpeor, and separated from God.
But as it is often so true, they left their first love and became enamored with the things of this world.
Thus, drawn off – or enticed – Israel left God. They deserted God. They divorced God.
Their abominations were according as they loved.
Now, the effects of sin follow a person, or a people for the rest of their lives. What is tragically left is the rotten fruit and the smell of death.
Job 13:28: “And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten.”
James 1:15: “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Destruction and death always follows defilement, [unless there is a remedy].
Verse eleven: “As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.”
Israel had glory in the days of her youth. In beautiful simplicity in the days of David, and of Solomon, his son, they had a taste of glory.
This glory served as a precursor of the glory which will follow in the soon coming glory that will be had in the reign of Jesus Christ on Mount Zion in the millennial Kingdom of Heaven.
How could this glory be soon forgotten?
Jeremiah 2:32: “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”
Here is an acknowledgment: We all have short memories; we all tend to forget.
How can we counter-act this very tendency within all of us to leave the God that loves us?
Utilize this formula to counter-act:
This formula is spelt out to us by the Spirit of God in Psalm one-hundred and nineteen, verses nine through eleven:
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Memorize this for your health!
Verse twelve: “Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!”
The God of Israel’s intention was for the fathers and mothers of his people to enjoy their children’s children, as a reward in fearing the LORD their God. See this promise in the design of the family in Psalm one-hundred and twenty-eight, verse six:
“Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.” Psalm 128:6]
But they feared not the LORD their God, and cleaved to their harlotry.
Therefore, they lost the promise of seeing their children’s children.
So here we are!
Though they bring up their children to lose them.
They put all the work, and the sacrifice, and the nurture, into their children only to lose them. And lose them they did.
Yet will I bereave them.
The nation of Israel would hence forth only know bereavement. As had the prophet prophesied in the book of Jeremiah, chapter fifteen, verse seven:
“And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.” [Jeremiah 15:7]
When God departs from you, it is curtains for you: [It is the end, or your death, your demise].
Verse thirteen: “Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.”
As I saw Tyrus:
Now, consider how Tyrus boasted over the plight of Jerusalem. That great city of Tyrus which was on the sea shore of Lebanon was laid waste and was scraped down to the bare rock, for which we can see in the book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty-six:
“Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste:
And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.” [Ezekiel 26:2, 4].
A word to the wise, never gloat over the suffering of the Jewish people. [Romans 11:18, 20, 25]
But Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.
Now, who is the murderer of children?
Why it is someone who from the beginning was a murderer. And this person has been identified by Jesus Christ [when dealing with the dead religious Pharisees]. Read in the Gospel of John, chapter eight, verse forty-four:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” [John 8:44]
The DEVIL is the main instigator of the murdering of children, and Israel by playing the harlot had become the willing party to the murders of her own children.
Verse fourteen: “Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.”
Render to them their desert
Look around you, and see the mess, that we are all in, because of our sin, the sin of our nation, and indeed in all the nations of the earth. The order of degeneration is like this, as found in the book of James:
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” [James 1:15]
Now, when sin has run its course, the end fruit is miscarrying wombs and dry breasts. The word of God says in the book of Psalms in Psalm twenty-eight, verse four:
“Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.” [Psalm 28:4]
We get what we deserve.
Verse fifteen: “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”
I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings:
The favorite place for the people to sin was where they sacrificed on their altars at Bethel or at Gilgal. Oh, how religious they are! Go to the book of Amos, chapter four, verse four. They said:
“Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:” [Amos 4:4]
I will drive them out of mine house
The LORD himself physically fulfilled this prophecy as we find recorded in the New Testament Gospels of Jesus Christ:
Matthew 21:12: “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,”
Verse sixteen: “Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.”
They shall bear no fruit.
Everything that can go wrong will go wrong for Ephraim [or Israel] after they deserted the LORD their God.
Similarly, everything that can go wrong will go wrong for us [in the body of Christ] if we sow to the flesh.
In the Epistle to the Galatians, chapter six, verses seven and eight, we will find this basic truth:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” [Galatians 6:7-8]
Note: The sooner the believer in Jesus Christ fastens on to this truth, the better off he, or she, will be in the now and now, and in all eternity.
Verse seventeen: “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”
This casting away of the nation of Israel was already declared earlier in the Fifth book of Moses called Deuteronomy, chapter twenty-nine, verse twenty-eight:
“And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.” [Deuteronomy 29:28]
[See also: 2 Kings 17:20, 24:20, Jeremiah 15:1, 52:3]
Israel was cast out of their land, and scattered among the nations, but even while they were there, God’s mercy was there to keep their little flame alive. See for this nugget of truth in Ezekiel chapter eleven, verse sixteen:
“Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” [Ezekiel 11:16]
And even as they were cast out their land, there was this comforting accompaniment of a promise of mercy to them while they are in the land of their enemies:
Remember the book of Leviticus, in chapter twenty-six? [When we were Hosea chapter five, verse five.]
Well, look now at verse forty-four:
“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.” [Leviticus 26:44]
As though it never happened!
Thus, the casting out of Israel is not permanent. See the promise of God bringing them back to THE LAND in the book of the prophet Zechariah. It is in chapter ten, verse six:
“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.” [Zechariah 10:6]
The mercies of God are beyond understanding! Amen! Now, for chapter ten of the book of Hosea.
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