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Hosea – Survey #1

09/05/2019

Hosea – Survey 1

Text.  Hosea chapters 1-3.

We will look at Hosea in two surveys – even though it is 14 chapters long.  That’s because it neatly falls into two separate sections. Chapter One-Three is a COVENANT LOVE STORY. Chapter Four-Fourteen is a COVENANT LAWSUIT. (Or maybe three separate court cases!) The word Hosea Hosea 1:1. simply means ‘salvation’ – In a limited way, Hosea is a sign – to point us to Jesus.  Hosea worked in the Northern Kingdom, Israel, around the same time as Amos, – (during the reign of Jeroboam II.) but Hosea was from Israel.  Hosea had a rather strange and unusual private and family life, so let’s see…

1 Hosea’s Wife. Hosea 1:2  

Now, why would God tell a man, a prophet, no less, to go and marry a prostitute?   In this book, God is Israel’s HUSBAND, and Israel is God’s WIFE.  God loves Israel, has rescued her, and wed her, – entered into a marriage covenant with her.  That covenant has certain stipulations.  He will care for her, and provide for her and love her unconditionally, and in response, she will love him, and him alone, and will never leave him.  He helps her by giving the law, to show her how to live in such a way as to please him.  But Israel is an unfaithful wife.  She goes whoring after false gods, and because of this she has committed great harlotry.  God’s wife, his bride has made herself a prostitute.   It will be Hosea’s task to be a living, walking symbol of Israel’s condition, to show to Israel what it means to play the spiritual harlot.

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2 Hosea’s Children.  3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4 Then the Lord said to him:

Hosea and Gomer had a family!  They had three children, and all of them have strange names, that will be a message for the people of Israel.

  • JEZREEL.  1:4. Jezreel was even worse than calling your baby ‘hypocrite’ for  it reminds us and the people of Israel for the judgment of God upon sin.  Jezreel meant God’s VENGEANCE. They might as well have called him Sodom, or Gomorrah!  Let’s see a little bit about Jezreel.   
    • Jezreel and Naboth. 1 Kings 21:1   Naboth had a vineyard – and Ahab the king wanted it!  The vineyard was in Jezreel.  When Naboth refused to sell it, Ahab went into a sulk, took to his bed and refused to eat.  Jezebel decided to intervene, and arranged to have Naboth falsely accused and put to death.  Elijah prophesied  v 1 Kings 21:21.  God would bring that prophecy to pass – He remembers Jezreel.
    • Jezreel and Jehu.  Jehu put to death the son of Ahab, Joram, on the very vineyard that had brought about the death of Naboth.  2 Kings 9:23-26   Jezebel too died and fell at Jezreel, and as Elijah had prophesied, the dogs ate her body.  2 Kings 9:35-36 God remembered Jezebel’s wicked dealings – and he repaid them, he brought about vengeance for Jezreel.  He always does, for we cannot sin and get away with it – for the wages of sin is death.
  • LO-RUHAMAH. 1:6-7   What an obvious discrimination, for consider the difference between the future of Israel. God would utterly destroy Israel.  AND the future of Judah.  Judah would be spared.  They would be taken away into captivity, but that would be for 70 years, and after that they would return, and would be the people from whom the Messiah would come.
  • LO-AMMI.  8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. 9 Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.  The wording here is especially important.   God entered into a covenant relationship with his people – in effect he had married them.  That covenant is expressed all the way through the Bible – it runs from Genesis to Revelation. Genesis 17:7-8  Revelation 21:3  It is a wonderful comfort, that God’s relationship with his covenant people has never changed – not from Genesis, until the days when we are with him in the New Jerusalem.  But look at what Lo-Ammi means, it is the complete reverse of the covenant relationship.  God will NOT be their God, and they will NOT be his people. 

Hosea is calling upon Israel to repent – so that these things do NOT happen.  They cannot take God’s covenant love for granted, taking all his goodness and his gifts and at the same time being unfaithful to him.  Chapter two expands and explains all of this in a series of harsh warnings. YET there is a wonderful promise at that God will one day establish his covenant with people who had previously been outside the covenant promises of God. 2:23 This promise was fulfilled in the new covenant, that God made with the new Israel, his NT people. Ephesians 2:11-12 . 

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Gomer – in the slave market of sin.

3 Hosea’s Love.  Chapter 3.

Gomer, Hosea’s wife, was a prostitute, and she did what prostitutes do.  Her condition worsened, and like everyone who leads a debauched life, she eventually finds her body is wracked with pain, and disease, and bruises. Her beauty is gone, her body is undesirable, and she is just another piece of worthless human waste.  She  sells herself as a slave, on sale in the slave market.  That’s when God intervened again. 3 Then the Lord said to me, “ There is to be a NEW COVENANT between Hosea and Gomer, symbolising the love between God and his people…

  • Hosea is to love someone who is unlovable! 3:1. cf Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  
  • Hosea is to buy her back! 3: 2 So I bought her for myself 
  • A price is to be paid! for fifteen shekels of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley.
  • The conditions of the new covenant. 3: 
  • The period of repentance.  3:4 I think that after a spouse has been unfaithful and then reconciled and forgiveness extended, it still must take quite some time for trust be re-established.  So with Israel. Hosea 3:4    It will take time, and repentance and she will sit in mourning for quite some time, before fellowship is fully enjoyed again.

So, Hosea is a picture of what Jesus would do for sinners.  

But what is it that God has against his people?  Why is he so angry with them?  In our next study, God summonses his people to the bar, he lays charges before them in a Covenant Law Suit – and they are found guilty!

BobMcEvoy May 2019

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