Let’s turn in our Bibles now to the book of Hosea. The word “Hosea”, actually means Savior. The name “Joshua” is quite similar to Hosea, with the exception that the “Ja”, in the “Joshua”, the “Ya”, Yeshewa, the “Ya”, is a contraction for Jehovah, who is Salvation. So Hoshea, is the Savior.
He is a prophet [we are told in verse one], who prophesied during the days of Uziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, the king of Israel (1:1).
Now his period of ministry was concurrent with that of Isaiah. Isaiah was prophesying at the same time, but Isaiah was basically prophesying to the southern kingdom of Judah, whereas Hosea is prophesying to the northern kingdom of Israel. So they were actually contemporaries. Isaiah, in the south, prophesying to the southern kingdom, Hosea, prophesying to the northern kingdom. And thus…
The word of the Lord that came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, and all.
Now [in the beginning of the word, or] the beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, and take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord (1:2).
In the twelfth chapter of this prophecy of Hosea, in verse ten, God declares, “I have spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions and used similitudes”. Now what God is asking Hosea to do is a similitude. There is a similarity between what he is doing, and what the people have done to God, in turning away to other gods. So this is one of those similitudes. God is speaking through similar things that are similar to, in order that you might get the message.
God does speak to us through similitudes, if we are open to hear, and to receive, and to understand. God speaks to us often by similitudes. You wake up in the morning, and God tells you that, “One morning you’re gonna wake up in eternity”. You go down to eat breakfast, and God invites you to come and eat at His table, to feed on the word of God, that you might be spiritually strong. So all the way through there are, there are things that are reminders, if we’re in tune with it. The similitudes.
So in telling him to take a wife who was a prostitute, it is a similitude of the land of Israel, the nation of Israel that has turned to other gods, and is just going after, lusting after these other gods. What are the gods? Pleasure, gods of sexual desires, the Ashtoreth, gods of intellectual pursuit, gods of mammon, money, power. When God’s people start turning to these things, desiring these things, lusting after these things, then God looks upon them as committing spiritual whoredom. Turning after these things, instead of the living God.
There is unfortunately a problem with the sophistication of our age, in that we are going after the same gods that the children of Israel went after. Trying to find satisfaction, trying to find meaning in these other things. But the fact that we don’t name them as gods, sort of blinds us to the reality of what we’re doing. You see if, if you had little idols, as they did, the little Ashtoreth, and if you would do your little obeisance and prayers and all to the little idol, then it would be easier to recognize that this is become the master passion of my life. But because we don’t make images or idols anymore, we sort of feel a little bit of spiritual superiority like, “Well, I’m glad I don’t do those things”, you know. In reality, if these are the things through which today you are seeking satisfaction and fulfillment, in material things, in your educational pursuits, in your pursuit of your job and all. If these are the things that you’re looking for, for fulfillment and satisfaction, they in fact have become your gods. Because only the Lord can truly satisfy, and He wants you to look to Him, for fulfillment and for satisfaction. So, “The land”, God said, “has committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord”.
So he took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; [Now, again similitude. The name is to be a reminder. With his children, the names are all significant, for they are speaking of issues, and they are to remind the people of issues. As the kids grow up, and he calls, “Lo-Ammi!”, they’ll get the message of “Lo-Ammi”, “Not my people”. So, “Jezreel”.
One of the most wicked kings of the kingdom of Israel, was named Ahab, and his wife was named Jezebel, and she tops all women for wickedness. She has, her name has become a symbol really, of a wicked woman. We say, “Oh she is a real Jezebel”. They were the ones who really led the nation of Israel into complete idolatry. Especially in the worship of Baal. During the reign of Ahab, Elijah was the prophet of God, that was ministering to the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah prophesied to Ahab, that God was gonna cut him off, and cut off all of his posterity, his family. God was just gonna cut the family of Ahab out of Israel. That was the prophecy of Elijah. Ahab, the one really bad incident that you may remember, sort of a cry baby, and he was saying, “Oh I want the field of Naboth!” He went to Naboth, and it was adjacent to his field, great for growing grapes, and he offered Naboth, he said, “I’d like to buy your field”, and Naboth said, “No, it’s the families inheritance. If I sold it the family wouldn’t have any inheritance, not for sale.” So he was moping around, crying around, “Oh I want that field, want that field!” His wife said, “What are you being such a cry baby about? I’ll get the field for you if you want it!”. So she hired some wicked men to testify against Naboth on false charges, cursing God, cursing the law. So Naboth was put to death, and she said, “There’s your field, go get it.” Wicked thing!
So, in the place, Elijah said, where this dastardly deed was done, “The dogs will lick the blood of Jezebel”, and Ahab was to be cut off. Well, the interesting thing, a more wicked man, a more wicked king did not live, he was, he was tops in the realm of wickedness, in the northern kingdom. Manasseh tops the southern kingdom. But after Elijah gave him this prophecy, he really cleaned up his act. Started really living carefully, you know, watching things. So, God is so merciful, so totally merciful, He told Elijah, “Go tell Ahab, because he’s changed his whole attitude, and has shown this repentance, that the judgement will not come during his lifetime. It will come later”. Well, when Jehu took over, he was one of the generals, and as he was taking over the northern kingdom, he sent messages to Jezreel, Samaria, for the people to pick out one of Ahab’s sons, to reign as king, and let him gather together an army, because Jehu was coming with his men, and he’s gonna fight them, whoever it is. “Set one up as king, because I’m coming against you! So you’d better get you a leader!” Well, the men of Jezreel said, “Who can stand against Jehu? He’s already conquered two kings!” So, they sent a message back, and they said, “We don’t want them to serve us, we’re willing to submit to you as our king”. So he sent a second letter, he said, “If that’s so, then tomorrow afternoon, send me all the heads of the sons of Ahab”. Now Ahab had seventy sons. Prolific fellow! More than one wife though. Ha, ha! So they beheaded the sons of Jehu, I mean of Ahab, the sons of Ahab, and put them in baskets and sent them to Jehu. Gruesome thing. So though it was a fulfillment of a prophecy, yet because it was such a gruesome thing, a sinful thing, though it fulfilled prophecy, God, during the time of Hosea’s prophecy, is going to judge Jezreel for the wickedness against Ahab. So the first son was to be named Jezreel, during his lifetime.]
God is going to revenge this horrible deed that was done [by the men of, or, Jezreel] upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel (1:3-4).
During the period of Hosea’s prophecy, the northern kingdom will fall. It’ll fall to the Assyrian empire. So, even as Jeremiah prophesied over the death of the southern kingdom, so Hosea will be there to give God’s word, and to prophecy the death of the northern kingdom of Israel.
And it shall come to pass [verse five] at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. And so she conceived again, and she bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy [or pity] upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away (1:5-6).
In Hebrew, the word “Lo”, is no in English. So, “ruhama”, is mercy or pity, the “lo” in front of it, is no mercy, or no pity. So God is not gonna have any mercy or pity upon the nation of Israel. They have crossed over the line. They’ve gone too far, as God will say to them in a little bit, “Ephraim is given over to her idols, leave her alone. No more mercy. Don’t even bother praying for her. There’s no more mercy for her, they’ve gone too far.”
But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, [That’s the southern kingdom.] and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen (1:7).
Now the northern kingdom of Israel is gonna fall. God said, “I’m gonna save the southern kingdom, but not by armies, not by the horsemen, and the soldiers and all”. Interesting thing. Northern kingdom of Israel did fall to Assyria. The Assyrians invaded the southern kingdom, during the reign of Hezekiah.
You remember that. Isaiah the prophet said to Hezekiah, “You know, just trust in the Lord. The Lord will deliver the Assyrians into your hand, you won’t have to fight. God is gonna fight this for you”. So as Hezekiah was trusting the Lord and waiting upon God, the Assyrians have moved in thousands of troops. They had encircled Jerusalem. An army of at least a hundred and eighty five thousand men. One morning, when the children of Israel awoke, the guards went up on the walls to look at the camp of the Assyrians. They saw that everything was quiet. They saw all these corpses on the ground. In one night the angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrians, and destroyed a hundred and eighty five thousand of the troops. Those that weren’t destroyed, fled in disarray back to Assyria.
But as the Lord promised, it was fulfilled. God saved Judah, not by the bow, nor by the sword, nor by battle, by horses or by horsemen, but by the direct hand of God, against the Assyrians. So, no more pity upon Israel, but upon Judah, God will still have mercy.
Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived again, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name [Not my people. This one, his wife evidently had started messing around again. He says, “Not my child”.] Lo-Ammi: for you are not my people, and I will not be your God (1:8-9).
They’ve gone too far. God is now divorcing them from Himself. “You’re not my people. It’s all over. It’s, it’s the end for you. It’s a tragic thing when God says to a person, “That’s, that’s it. You’ve gone too far. I’ll not have anymore mercy. You’ve crossed the line. You’re not my people”. Yet the number of the children, and here’s the thing, God says, “Through, it’s over. No more mercy, not my people anymore. You’re gonna get wiped out”. Then what does He say in the very next verse?
Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, You are the sons of the living God (1:10).
God is so good, and so merciful! Here He pronounces the judgement that’s gonna come. “I divorce you. You’re not my people.” And yet, God is so merciful He, with the darkness that’s gonna come, the destruction, the captivity and all, “Yet, I’ll bless you in the future. Your children will be as the sand…”. God always holds out a bright hope for the future. Maybe going to go through some darkness, some really bad times, but God never leaves us in the darkness. I love the Psalms, in that so often, they express just total despair, just, “It’s all over. This is the end!”, and then they end up, “And yet will I praise the Lord for His mercies and His goodness”, and it always ends on a high note. It doesn’t end in the valley. God never leaves you down, He always lifts us again, and it ends on a high note. So, in the end, God is gonna be gracious, God is gonna be merciful, and in the very place where He said, “You’re not my people”, it will be said, “These are the sons of the living God”.
And then shall the children of Judah, and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel (1:11).
Notice here now, “Then shall the children of Judah, and Israel be gathered together”. Not under dual leadership, not under a northern king, and a southern king, but now under one head. That was the prophecy of the rebirth of the nation of Israel, which we have seen in our lifetime. Some of you, it was just before your lifetime. But, 1948 we saw the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and we had the joy of, of seeing this verse of scripture fulfilled. As Israel became a nation, both the northern and southern kingdoms combining, one head, one government, over the present day nation of Israel.
So say unto your brethren, Ammi; and your sisters, Ruhamah (2:1).
Take, He’s taken off the “Lo”, in front. So, “Say unto your bretheren my people, and to your sisters, having obtained mercy, or pity, say to these your children”.
Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they are the children of whoredoms. And their mother hath played the harlot: she that has conceived them has done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread, and my water, and my wool and my flax, and my oil and my drink (2:2-5).
Going after the material things. Devoted to the gods of materialism. “It’s by my job that I have all of these things.” Thus, holding your job above the Lord. So…
Therefore, [The Lord said] behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; [You’ll never find satisfaction in the things of the world, or in the gods of the world. You may pursue them, you may attribute them to your welfare and all, as come from this shrewdness, or whatever you’ve developed, and you may be worshiping the god of your intellect. You may pursue that as the first love of your life, but it’ll, never, never satisfy. You’ll never really grasp it. It’s always just out, just out, “If, if I can just…”, and it’s always out there in front of you. You never get hold of it and say, “Alright! I’ve made it, I’m satisfied!”.] she shall seek them, but shall not find them: and then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then it was better with me than now (2:6-7).
Finally waking up. Like the prodigal son, who when he ended up just eating the husks of corn, that he was feeding to the pigs, came to himself, and he said, “This is ridiculous! My father’s servants have a better life than I’m experiencing here in this pig pen! I’m gonna go home. I’ll just tell my dad, ‘Hey, I blew it, I realize that. I don’t deserve to be called a son anymore, but I’d like a job. I’d like to just be your servant.’ Because my dad’s servants really have it better than this”. You know the story how that, as he was coming home, his father watching for him, seeing him afar off, came running to meet him. Kissed him, ordered a big party! “This, my son that is lost, is come home!” So here, she’ll finally wake up. She’ll say, “Hey it was much better with my first husband, than this misery that I’m in now!”.
For she did not know [And here’s the thing with God. It’s God that gave you the ability. It’s God who gave you the opportunities. It is God that was watching over you, and it is God who has provided for you! And yet, you’ve attributed it to all of these other things. “She did not know”,] that I gave her the corn, and the wine, and the oil, and I multiplied her silver and gold, which they have prepared for Baal. [“They’ve offered what I gave to them, over to these false gods.”] Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and I will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers and none shall deliver her out of my hand. For I will also cause all of the parties to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all of her solemn feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest and the beasts of the field shall eat them. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and she forgat me, saith the Lord (2:8-13).
So God is gonna deal with Israel. “Let them be forsaken, let the land become overrun.” Until, they return back to God.
Therefore [The Lord said] I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her the vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and in the day when she came out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; [Or husband] and shalt call me no more Baali. [Or Lord, Baali is Lord, “but you’ll call me the husband.” As God will again be a husband unto the nation of Israel.] For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; [God’s stubborn love, just won’t let go! They may turn, they may go after other gods, they may fail, but God’s love persists, and pursues. Even as God has that stubborn love for you, just won’t let you go. “I’ll betroth thee unto me for ever”,] yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will hear, saith the Lord, and I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that I had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, You are my people; and they shall say, You are our God (2:14-23).
Beautiful! God’s restoration, drawing them back, again claiming them as His people. Now this has not yet taken place, the spiritual return of Israel to God. The nation of Israel today, is a secular nation. There are a lot of religious people, but they are a minority, but they are obvious, because they were the black hats, or the fur hats, and the black coats, and have the little curls down the sides of their head, and thus they become very obvious, especially around Jerusalem. But there’s only about ten percent of the people of Israel today, that are really spiritually minded. The nation is a secular nation, and the spiritual work of God has not yet taken place. It will take place. There is a seven year period, in which God is going to bring to Israel a, this return of the Spirit. Where, spiritually, they will really turn to God, and begin to seek God nationally. That is yet future. We’ll, we’ll deal with that a little further on.
Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman that is beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love the flagons of wine. So [he said] I bought her [By this time, Gomer had, was, was just a cast-off of society. She had actually been placed on the slave auction, “And so I bought her”,] for fifteen pieces of silver, [It’s half the price, if you’d have to pay for a slave who had been gored by your bull.] and for anhomer of barley, and a half a homer of barley: [Or, a homer and a half of barley.] And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, thou shalt not be for another man: and so I also will be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, [This is the prophecy now. What’s gonna happen to the nation. They’re gonna, abide for a long time without a king, many days. When Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, and they were taken captive, and scattered, there was no more king over Israel. They have been without a king. They will abide many days without a king, we are told here.] without a prince, without a sacrifice, [Even the sacrifices will cease. Now after the Babylonian captivity, when many of the people of Israel, because under the decree, both Israel and Judah, could return from captivity, all of those. They still did not inaugurate a king. They did again start the sacrifices in the temple, they reinstituted temple worship. But they are going to be without a prince, without a sacrifice.] without the priestly garments the image, without the ephod, and with the teraphim (3:1-4):
In the sixth chapter of Hosea, which we will be looking at next Sunday night, we’ll just take a quick look at it now. This is what they will be saying, “Come and let us return unto the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us. He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us. In the third day, He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight”. Peter tells us that a day, is as a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years, as a day. For two days, they said, or for two thousand years, after the two thousand years, “He will revive us, and in the three thousandth year”, He’ll raise us up, and we shall live in His sight”.
It is interesting that from the time of Christ, for two thousand years, they’ve been without the sacrifice, without a prince, without a king. Scattered actually, throughout the world. But after the two thousand years, God has raised them up. Now the biblical years are three hundred and sixty day calendar years, so if you figure it out, it was just about the two thousand biblical calendar years, of three hundred and sixty day years, that God raised up the nation of Israel again. “And they shall live in His sight.” The nation now exists once more. Marvelous, marvelous fulfillment of prophecy!
For you see, this is unparalleled in the history of mankind. There is no other ethnic group of people, who have maintained their ethnic character without having a national homeland. Without a homeland, ethnic groups, within a few generations, get totally absorbed in the new territory where they are living. They lose their ethnic identity. So you’ve not really met an Amalikite lately, or a Kenite, or many of these other ancient peoples, who were defeated, lost their homeland, were taken captives. With that, they lost their national identity, within a few generations, never to regain it again.
The amazing thing about the Jew, is the maintaining of the national identity, though they’ve been scattered all over the world. Yet they maintain their national identity. Many Jews in China, many Jews in South America. Especially Argentina, Jews here in America. But, they are still Jews. The Jews that are in Germany, that are in Poland, that are in Russia. They still have maintained their ethnic identity, after two thousand years! Which is, there’s nothing else in history like it! Even close to it! But they had to, in order for prophecy to be fulfilled.
Even though there have been attempts to destroy the Jewish people, yet God has always preserved them, and they do remain to the present day. Satan has always wanted to destroy them, because if he could destroy them, then the bible prophecy, how could it be fulfilled. But God has preserved them, and they remain an ethnic group today. God is yet going to deal with them. They shall abide many days without the king and prince, without the sacrifice, without the image, without the ephod, and teraphim.
But afterward shall the children of Israel return, and they’ll seek the Lord their God, [Now they’ve returned, they haven’t yet come to that part of really seeking the Lord their God. I do believe that the pressures that are upon them from the world, from the forced negotiations to develop a Palestinian state, from the problems that they are having internally now, with the Palestinians. I believe that all of these things are going to be used, as God’s instrument in causing them to realize that they had better just turn things over to God. I believe that, that is coming, that this second portion, where they’ll begin to seek the Lord their God,] and David their king; [Jesus, of course is the prophetic fulfillment of David, their king. “He will sit upon the throne of David, to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgement.” You remember what Jesus said? He said, “You won’t see me again, until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. They’re going to begin to seek their Messiah. Already, there is a, a movement within Israel, an awakening. A feeling that the Messiah is coming soon. The feeling that they will soon be able to reinstitute their temple sacrifices, that some how, some way, they are gonna be able to rebuild their temple, and start their sacrifices again. They are so convinced of this, that they are already training the students, in how to butcher the animals for the sacrifices. They are making the instruments to carry the blood of the sacrifices, to put upon the altar. They are preparing the instruments to be used in the temple worship, because there is a feeling, a very strong feeling among them, that they’re on the verge of seeing the return of the Messiah. Or, not the return, but just the coming of the, we know it’s the return, but to them it’s the coming of the Messiah. Throughout Israel there is of course, signs that say, “Get ready, Messiah is coming”. That awareness of, of the time is about right for the Messiah to appear. And so, “They’ll seek the Lord their God, and David their king;”] and they shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the last days (3:5).
The fact that this has begun is just one more sign that we are living in the last days. This is what will happen. When you see that spiritual awakening, which is now taking place in Israel, the beginnings of it, you know that we are in the last days! Great prophesies here in Isaiah, I mean in Hosea. We’ll go next week in the next three chapters. So read them over and, we’ll continue our journey through this marvelous word of God!
Father, we thank You that You have spoken unto the fathers by the prophets. And Lord, that You’ve laid out your plan for the nation of Israel, and for the coming of the Messiah. Lord we thank You for those portions of the prophecies that are already fulfilled. How that you did what you said what you were going to do. Gives us tremendous confidence Lord, that You’re going to finish things, just like You said You would, according to Your good word. So Lord, we thank You that we have been called to serve You. That we, as wild olive branches, have been grafted in, that we might partake of the glories, and the blessings of your promises, of your goodness, of Your love. That the natural branch Lord, was cut off that we might be grafted in. But Lord, we recognize that You’re a God of love and mercy, and having cut off the natural branch, you’ll graft it back in again, as soon as you have fulfilled Your purposes with we, Gentiles. So Lord, we realize that time is running out. The prophetic events are coming together. The people are back in the land, just like You said. We see the beginnings of a spiritual movement. Lord, we rejoice that the day of the Lord is at hand. Help us Lord, that we will not follow their example in turning away from You, in trying to find satisfaction in the empty things of the world. In the pleasures, or the possessions, oh God, keep us from idols in our hearts! Keep us pure Lord, before You. May we seek You Lord, with all of our heart, with all of our mind, with all of our soul Lord, may we seek after thee. Above and beyond everything Lord, may our hearts seek You, that we might Lord, experience that fulfillment that comes from just living close in your love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7349