Thursday, January 7, 2016

Children Of Whoredom

Hosea 1:1-11

“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” (Hosea 1:1)

This introduction clearly establishes Hosea as a contemporary of Isaiah.   Uzziah became King about 780 BC, and Hezekiah’s reign ended around   670 BC.  Since Jeroboam II’s reign ended about 755 BC it seems probable that Hosea prophesied from about 760 to about 700 BC.  The defeat and occupation of the Northern kingdom known as Israel occurred near the end of his time.  After the death of Hezekiah, Judah began a steady downward spiral that led to their defeat by the Babylonians about a hundred years later.  Uzziah and Hezekiah were great kings of Judah who served God and led their people to do so.   After Hezekiah, only Josiah tried to lead the people to serve God.  The other kings just followed the crowd, or actively led them away, just as the kings of Israel did.  It is in this setting Hosea’s prophecies are made. 

“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.  So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.” (Hosea 1:2-3)

This first prophecy was made while Jeroboam was still king of Israel.  From the very start, under Jeroboam I, Israel had begun to follow other gods, spiritually committing adultery with them.   God directed Hosea to marry a woman engaged in prostitution as a sign to them.   Apparently she continued in prostitution after her marriage, resulting in children by different fathers. 

“And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.  And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1:4-5)

Gomer’s first son was Hosea’s.  They named him Jezreel, or “God will sow.”   He portrays Israel as God’s son.    Jeroboam I’s family had been wiped out because they chose to worship other Gods. being replaced by Omri and Ahab’s family.  Jehu had destroyed Ahab’s family at God’s direction, but had then copied them in turning from God .  Jeroboam II was Jehu’s great grandson.    Jezreel symbolizes the Judgment on Jehu’s family for the way they have treated God’s child, Israel, involving them in their sin. 

“And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.  But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, 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.” (Hosea 1:6-7)

Gomer’s second child, a daughter was named Loruhamah, “no pity.”  She was a child who may or may not have been Hosea’s.  Like a husband who is not sure a child is his, God will punish severely such a child when they do wrong, but bless one who does right.  Judah will be saved By God’s power rather than military might.   

“Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.  Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. “ (Hosea 1:8-9)

Gomer’s third child is definitely not Hosea’s son.  He is called Loammi, or “not my people.”   He portrays Israel as refusing to acknowledge God and consequently being disowned by him.   

“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, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.  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.” (Hosea 1:10-11)

Despite their rejection of him and their consistent refusal to obey God still loves Israel and Judah and will one day reunite them.  In that day they will no longer be separate nations but will have one ruler and king.   It is exactly the same thing Ezekiel prophesied to Judah over a hundred years later, in Ezekiel 37:15-24. 
“ The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.  And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.  And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.” (Ezekiel 37:15-24)

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