The Book of Hosea
The Book of Hosea
By Richard St.James
Bible 1611.Com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2023
Hosea, chapter seven:
Verse one: “When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.”
They could have been healed. But they were not healed. Why, because God saw what was below the veneer.
Many times, something is not as what it appears. What seemingly appears in the first glimpse may not reveal the true thing. Man is very good at hiding what is truly in his heart.
However, a true heart will cry out this:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” [Psalm 139:23]
The word of God even takes this thing a step further in this matter of the heart. Go to now the book of Jeremiah, the prophet, to chapter seventeen, verse nine, and see this eye-opener:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” [Jeremiah 17:9]
Who can know it? Well, God does. God even knows the intentions of your heart. That is how powerful and all-knowing God is!
Not only does God know what is in a man’s heart but HE remembers all of what was in a man’s heart.
Verse two: “And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.”
Paying the Piper
Israel must now face the consequences of their wickedness. They are now caught in the trap of their own making.
Now, sin against God sets you up for the big pay day that is coming:
“For the wages of sin is death” [Romans 6:23a].
Well, we all will pay the piper unless someone in our behalf [THE MEDIATOR] steps into the fray. THE MEDIATOR is none other but Jesus Christ: “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Romans 6:23b]
Verse three: “They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.”
The king and the princes with all the people are in agreement against God.
When birds of a feather flock together they party it up! Watch out:
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” [1 Corinthians 15:33]
Observation: They all get along so well that they take their other fellows down to HELL with them.
Now, fasten on to this TRUTH:
Galatians 5:9: “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
Verse four: “They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.”
The ultimate treachery is adultery.
There is illustrated for us living today in the 21st century in God’s Holy Bible a heinous adulterous act before our very eyes of faith.
The scene of the crime is located for us in a perfect BOOK given by the inspiration of God through the prophet Jeremiah. We will now turn to the scene of the crime in Jeremiah chapter thirty-six, and witness this treacherous desertion, and thus, the divorce from God performed by the princes and the king of Judah.
A spiritual adultery unfolded or revealed.
Go down through the chapter and we will focus first on verse fourteen:
Verse fourteen: “Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.”
We see the princes with the words of God in hand. Next, we will read verse twenty-one:
Verse twenty-one: “So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.”
Now, we see the Jehudi reading to the king from in the BOOK of the covenant [which BOOK reveals the marriage] of God to Israel.
Now for verse twenty-three:
Verse twenty-three: “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.”
They cut the pages up and threw the word of God into the fire. The ultimate treachery is adultery.
The king and princes affected the divorce of God from Judah. Here in the book of Hosea we see it is Israel who has divorced themselves from the LORD.
Pause here for a moment. Consider this basic truth from the book of beginnings. God created a man.
See this in the first book of Moses called Genesis, chapter two, verse twenty-four. Here is the first mention of the word “wife”:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Note the words: “a man.” In this verse God establishes a BASIC TRUTH.
A “man” needs a “wife.” Any sane person can see here that the two are become one. But we have lost our ability to reason. We have lost our common sense, because we have divorced God from us. It is because WE as a nation have DIVORCED the GOD of the BIBLE. For several generations we have been reaping for what we have sowed.
God intended for Israel as HIS wife to be faithful to HIM.
Verse five: “In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.”
The pervasive forces of debauchery, seduction, and enticement act to corrupt a king and to take him away from righteousness. These forces are the wrong friends being allowed in his inner circle.
“Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.” [Proverbs 25:5]
The best safeguard is principle, the love and purity of holiness, the fear of God and a reverence for His commandments.
Verse six: “For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.”
Verse seven: “They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.”
Hearts as an adamant stone
The answer to all of man’s problems is right before our faces. We will not have it!
The LORD God [by the prophet Zechariah] attested to their [Israel’s] condition with these words:
Zechariah 7:12: “Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.”
Wrath is what they have seen for nearly two thousand years! But there is more wrath to come. The Son of God prophesied of the wrath upon this people in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-one, twenty-three and four:
Verse twenty-three and twenty-four: “But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” [Luke 21-23-24]
Verse eight: “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.”
Israel was to be separated from all the other nations of the earth. We see into the LORD God’s mind concerning this in the First book of Kings, chapter eight, verse fifty-three:
“For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.” [1 Kings 8:53]
Mixing, or the fitting in, with the other nations of the earth was to prove to be their [that is, Israel’s] undoing, as it is also, for us [the Christians] today, to mix in with the world. It always brings apostasy!
Mixing into the world is loving the world. We are commanded to love not the world! For the BOOK says it this way in the First Epistle of John:
1 John 2:15-17:
“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.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
Lastly, we ought not be conformed to this world:
Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
To repeat: There are these three things that we can conclude from God’s word:
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>Israel as a nation was not to mix in with the other nations.
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>The believer in Jesus Christ in the body of Christ, which is the church, is to not love this world.
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>The believer in Jesus Christ in the body of Christ, which is the church, is to not to be conformed to this world.
Let it sink in:
- Not to mix in with this world!
- Not to love this world.
- Not to be conformed to this world.
“Peculiar” Proof Text:
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>Israel-Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>Israel-Deuteronomy 14:2: “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>Israel-Deuteronomy 26:18: “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;”
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>Israel - Psalm 135:4: “For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.”
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>The Christian - Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
<![if !supportLists]> · <![endif]>The Christian - 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
Review: God intends for the nation of Israel, and for the body of Christ, the church, to be peculiar [not mixed in, or conformed to this world].
Verse nine: “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.”
He wist not the LORD was departed.
This ought to remind us of what happened to Samson in the book of the Judges, chapter sixteen:
“And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” [Judges 16:20]
Samson’s strength was gone and he did not even know it. The whole thing just snuck up on him. Sad!
Harlotry devours your strength without you ever even knowing that it happened until it is too late.
Verse ten: “And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.”
We have already extensively commented on the problem of pride in this commentary [in chapter two, verse nine, in chapter four, verse seven, and in chapter five, verses four and five].
Pride keeps a person [or in the matter of Israel] from returning to God, or even coming to God.
I will repeat here again what I have said earlier: “When we sin, and sin, and sin, and in our pride, think we can presume to come back to where we were, we will find instead, ourselves stuck in place, and in subjection to nothing but abject spiritual darkness.”
Verse eleven: “Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.”
Somebody that is without heart is somebody with a hardened heart. Somebody without heart is said to be heartless. Hardening your heart is primarily a process, which occurs over time. People without heart is becoming the norm in the 21st century world over.
Listen, my friend, this is what you need to do:
“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation.” [Hebrews 3:15]
Warning: This all harkens back to the day of temptation which occurred in the wilderness. [For this sad narrative see the Fourth Book of Moses, called Numbers, in chapter fourteen.]
Verse twelve: “When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.”
Earlier in Hosea [in chapter five, verse five] we saw in the book of Leviticus [in chapter twenty-six] what God promised to do to them as a nation if they deserted HIM. HE would rain down upon their heads a myriad of judgments for their mischiefs:
It is this way: “His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” [Psalm 7:16]
Psalm 66:11: “Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.”
The blessings God has for us are so close to us. If only we would return to God. And if not, then it is judgment.
What will we have?
Remember, what happened to Israel is for our admonition:
Please refer to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter ten, in verse eleven:
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” [1 Corinthians 10:11]
Verse thirteen: “Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.”
We deserve to get our just deserts!
We receive that which we deserve, judgments!
Israel would have no ease, no rest, and no peace. She would live the next two thousand years with a trembling in the heart, with the failing of the eyes and with a sorrow of the mind.
We learn in history that men never learn from history.
Verse fourteen: “And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.”
I hear people all the time in the midst of their trouble crying out: Give me anything to relieve me, except not God!
I do not want God. I do not want the Son of God-Jesus Christ.
They cry but they cry not to God.
So, they were without heart. So, they had hard-hearts! So, they were heartless. So, onward, they go down the road as rebels to their destruction.
People without heart are the people who are past feeling.
Let me expand on this. People are past feeling for God, and are also, past feeling for one another.
Enter the androids!
Let me bring it closer to home. We, who are alive in the 21st century, are also, past feeling. We have become cold-hearted androids!
Listen: An android has no feelings for anyone, not even for themselves.
This all points to a super android who will shortly appear on this earth [during the Great Tribulation]. This android will be an image, given life by the power of the Devil. This future scene can be seen in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, in chapter thirteen, verse fifteen. Are you ready for this?
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” [Revelation 13:15]
They, who are androids, are “past feeling.” You might say that they have become numb to all around them. They have no feelings for others.
How did we get here?
We got here because we rebelled from God as Israel did.
Verse fifteen: “Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.”
There is an old idiom out there that says: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
This is what the LORD is saying to Israel: I heal you up from all your cuts and bruises. I help you to stand back up after you have been knocked down. I strengthen you. I am so good to you. So why do you return evil to me, for all my goodness toward you?
Are we not prone to this very same malady? Our evil imaginations come from the sin within us!
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [Romans 3:10-18]
Verse sixteen: “They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.”
In a manner, they return, but not to God. Man wants to return in his own way by his own rules. That is the big problem. They comprised a stubborn and a rebellious generation [Israel]:
Psalm 78:7-8: “That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”
They needed to return to God in the manner as is prescribed by Spirit of God in Psalm fifty-one:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”
Next, chapter eight of Hosea, the prophet of God.
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