Hosea 8:1-8

IMG_1758This is a tough book to get through… but we will get through it little by little.  I hope you are getting the metaphors used and historical points I can throw in there.  There is a lot to learn from the history of the time when this book was written.  A lot was going on in and around Israel.  I am learning a lot by doing this one!

Israel to Reap in the Whirlwind

The imagery of the title in interesting.  Reap means to gather or to cut as with a sickle in harvest time.  A whirlwind looks chaotic, everything blowing all over the place and being thrown up into the air.  Trying to gather crops in a whirlwind would turn disastrous very quickly and be quite pointless actually.

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Hosea 7

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This is a rough chapter with a lot of metaphors and historical points.  We will go through it verse by verse.  Sorry, this is long one, but we will hammer it out together…

The sins of Ephraim exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed.  God is saying that He sees all of it.  “But they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds.” (v2)  Evil doers and sinners do not recognize that God sees everything that they are doing.  People always love to acknowledge that God will praise them for good deeds done, but they don’t like to think that He sees the bad stuff too.

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Hosea 6

IMG_1758This chapter starts out with what seems like a legitimate repentance from Israel: “Come, let us return to the Lord…”  Israel believed that like the rains, God’s favor would return to the land and restore her: “he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (v3)  But when we get to verse 4, we see how shallow this repentance is: “what can I do with you, Ephraim?  What can I do with you, Judah?  Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” What great figurative language to describe what is temporary.

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Hosea 5

IMG_1758How is it going so far?  This is a tough book to dig through, but so worth it to see God’s love for his people!

This chapter starts out with God calling out all of the groups (the priests, Israelites, royal house) responsible for maintaining justice, but have miscarried it.  They are caught in “a snare” keeping innocent people captive from knowing the One True God.

“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.” (v4)  This isn’t saying that because of their sin they cannot turn to God.  It is because of their persistent that makes the repentance impossible.  The NKJV words it this way: “They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God.”  Nothing about their actions shows them wanting to repent.

Do your actions show a heart of repentance?
 

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Hosea 4

IMG_1758God’s love for His people is overwhelming right?  He warns us that we serve a jealous God, so when our love turns from Him to other idols of course He is going to get upset.  But then the way He chases after the Israelites unrelentingly is amazing.  He is chasing after us with that same love.  Although we may not worship wooden idols and the god of Baal, we struggle with worshiping money, our jobs, name brand things, a baby…

God begins with judging the sins of the people claiming that there is no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God.  Instead the world is full of lying, stealing, adultery, murder, and human sacrifice.  This judgement was going to affect all living things in the world.

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Hosea 3

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There is a lot packed in these 5 verses of chapter 3!  The point of view changes in chapter 3: from a 3rd person narrative to a 1st person.

“The Lord said to me, ‘Go show love to your wife again,’” (v1)  This is the Lord speaking directly to Hosea (“me”.)  Hosea is called to go love his wife, Gomer, just as God has loved unfaithful Israel.

“although she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loved the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” (v1)  Just a note: Raisin cakes were used in the sacrificial feasts to the other gods.

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Hosea 2:14-23

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As I write these, I realize that I pretty much make the Cliff’s Notes version of these chapters!  I like to read then figure out what is being discussed and details that may not be obvious just by reading it the first time.  There is so much to learn in the details of names, places, and meaning of words!  It can take a confusing passage and make it meaningful.  So, at the very least I can pass along some of that information to you!

The tone of this next section changes.   Here the Lord restores Israel (the adulterous wife.)

Verse 14: The Lord talks of getting Israel back to Him and showing continual love instead of judgement and condemnation.

“Therefore, I am going to allure her; I will lead her back into the desert and speak tenderly to her.”

He will reassure and comfort His people.  The desert refers back to Israel’s wandering in the desert.

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Hosea 2: 1-13

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Sometimes the New King James Version (NKJV) can be a little more confusing to read with all the Old English language, but for this section it made a little more sense to me.  That’s one reason why I like having a couple different translations in the house.  I also have every translation on my phone (YouVersion Bible app) which is handy! Chapter 2 is God’s indictment of Israel for her unfaithfulness to Him.  This is the point where Gomer represents the Israelites. “Say to your brothers, ‘My people,’ And to your sisters, “My loved one.”  (v1)  These are the meanings of the names of Gomer’s children with the negatives associations (“not my people” and “not loved.”) [Read more...]

Hosea 1

IMG_1758 copyWe will start like we did in Nehemiah, discovering who Hosea was and a little bit about the situation he was in and when and why the book was written.

Hosea in Hebrew means “the Lord has saved us” or “salvation”  He was one of the minor prophets who declared God’s judgement against idol worship in Israel.  The Bible says nothing about Hosea’s background but does place him in Israel.

The theme of the book is Hosea proclaiming God’s compassion and covenant love that cannot let Israel go.

Major truths: God suffers when His people are unfaithful; God cannot condone sin; God will never cease to love His own and will seek to win back those who have forsaken Him.

Let’s jump right into it!

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Drop Your Hands. Post from Our Daily Bread 10.6.12

White flowerWe are familiar with the psalm “be still, and know that I am God,” but what does that mean?

I love this devotional from Our Daily Bread (October 2012)

You’d think I would have my mother’s fingerprints embedded in my knee from all the times she squeezed my leg in church and whispered in no uncertain terms, “Be still.” Like any boy, I had a bad case of the wiggles in places like church. So for years, when I read, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10), I thought of it in terms of not being antsy.

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