Hosea 14

Leave a comment

Hosea 14As we begin to close in on the end of the Old Testament, we enter the words & warnings of various Prophets who were sent to both Israel (AKA Ephraim) and Judah in an attempt to get them to turn from their sin and back to the Lord before disaster struck. Unfortunately, as we have seen over and over now, the people did not listen. They were too consumed in their own lives to pay any mind to that crazy, long-haired Bible freak on the street corner.

After a heavy dose of OT perhaps you begin to get a bit shell-shocked by the calamity. It just seems so much about doom and gloom and impending destruction on the horizon. But, here at the end of the words of Hosea we catch another glimpse of the true heart of God. It isn’t about punishment or inflicting casualties… it is tenderness and yearning above all else to bless and protect His people.

Look at how it starts in verse 1…

“O Israel, return to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled and fallen,
[visited by calamity] due to your iniquity.”Hosea 14:1

Notice that (once again) we are told that the reason for calamity visiting people is because of sin. It isn’t because God is teaching people stuff or trying to purify them by fire… it is because they have ignored what He said and went their own way into disobedience. The same is true today!

Look at verse 2…

“Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to Him, Take away all our iniquity;
accept what is good and receive us graciously; so will we render [our thanks] as bullocks
[to be sacrificed] and pay the confession of our lips.”Hosea 14:2

Here God is literally giving the people the script to come to Him with in repentance in order to stave off the impending doom. It is like He wants them to pass the test SO BADLY that He is giving them the answers to the test!

That is His heart… not to punish or inflict disaster… but to save.

Fast forward a bit to verse 4…

“I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for My anger is turned away from [Israel].
I will be like the dew and the night mist to Israel; he shall grow and blossom like the lilyand cast forth his roots like [the sturdy evergreens of] Lebanon.
His suckers and shoots shall spread, and his beauty shall be like the olive tree and his fragrance
like [the cedars and aromatic shrubs of] Lebanon.
They that dwell under his shade shall return; they shall revive like the grain
and blossom like the vine; the scent of it shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?
I have answered [him] and will regard and watch over him;
I am like a green fir or cypress tree; with Me is the fruit found [which is to nourish you].”Hosea 14:4-8

Notice the words God uses to describe what He really wants to do for His people?

Heal – Grow – Blossom – Return – Revive.

The Truth could not be clearer!

God wants to bless His people… He has always wanted to bless His people. When under the Blessing, people find healing, growth, green, blossom, etc. In fact – even those who dwell under that person’s shade experience the Blessing! With God – fruit is found.

Repent – obey – and live under The Blessing.
Be Fruitful & Multiply,
PK

Advertisements

15 Pieces of Silver – Hosea 1-3

Leave a comment

thirty-pieces-of-silverAs we enter the section of Minor Prophets – we are first introduced to Hosea. His name means “Salvation” and to understand his mission we must first understand when he is actually ministering. While Daniel was part of the southern section of the Israelite nation (Judah) sent into captivity in Babylon – Hosea is ministering in the northern section BEFORE they were conquered by Assyria. (Note: The Prophets are not in chronological order in the Bible). Hosea’s main mission is to warn the 10 northern tribes of impending judgment due to their sin and rebellion against God. Although a short 14 chapters make up this Prophets teaching, he actually was in operation for over 72 years (based on the length of king’s reigns mentioned in Hos 1:1). So for 70+ years this guy warned, pleaded, begged, cautioned the Israelites to turn back to God and repent. As we shall see – God had him perform some crazy stunts in an effort to get the people’s attention.

God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute named Gomer. (Did I say crazy?)
He told Hosea that she would reject him – break their marriage contract – and go back to her ways of adultery and vile.  This was to be an example of what Israel was doing to God. He bought her – paid her contract – yet she was going back to false gods and the world just like an adulterous lover.
In chapter 1, Hosea obeys God and buys out Gomers contract. They have 3 children with names that speak much more than just a label. The first, Jezreel, means “God will scatter” and was a warning that God was about to allow His people to be conquered and scattered across the world. The second, Lo-ruhamah, means “I will have mercy (compassion) no more” and the third, Lo-ammi, which means “Not my people”.
Three children – three names – three warnings (laid out in chapter 2).
In chapter 3 Gomer did just as God said she would. She left Hosea and the children to return to her old life.
(I don’t know about you… but I would say ‘Good riddance’!)
But God tells Hosea to go and find Gomer, pay off her new contract (again), and bring her back into his home. This is a beautiful example of grace and mercy from the Lord. Israel had sinned, rejected Him time and again… yet He would go and find her, pay her debts, and bring her back to Him.
It cost Hosea 15 pieces of silver and a load of barley (3:2).
It cost God His Son, Jesus.
Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 27:3).

This strange display God had Hosea re-enact was more than a sign for Israel in that day. It is a sign for us as well. Every time someone rejects the Lord’s advances, returns to the world like an adulterous; God reaches out once again.
Like a scorned Lover.
Willing to face embarrassment.
Willing to pay the debt of the new contract.
How He loves us so.

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,
PK