September 19, 2007
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
- Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
- 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.
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- Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.
- 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 be the children of whoredoms.
- For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
- Therefore, 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; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.
- For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
- Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and 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 mine hand.
- I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all 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 forgat me, saith the LORD.
- Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
- And I will give her her 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 as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
- And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
- 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 will I 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 and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
- And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, 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, I will hear, saith the LORD, 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 had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
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- Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman 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 flagons of wine.
- So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
- And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
- For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:
- Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
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- Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
- By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
- Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
- Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest.
- Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother.
- My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
- As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
- They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.
- And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
- For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.
- Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
- My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.
- They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.
- I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.
- Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.
- For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
- Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
- Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.
- The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
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- Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.
- And the revolters are profound to make slaughter, though I have been a rebuker of them all.
- I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled.
- They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.
- And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.
- They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.
- They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.
- Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: cry aloud at Beth-aven, after thee, O Benjamin.
- Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
- The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.
- Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.
- Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
- When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.
- For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.
- I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
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- 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.
- Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
- O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.
- Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.
- For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
- But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.
- Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood.
- And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.
- I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim, Israel is defiled.
- Also, O Judah, he hath set an harvest for thee, when I returned the captivity of my people.
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- When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood; and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.
- And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.
- They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies.
- They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened.
- In the day of our king the princes have made him sick with bottles of wine; he stretched out his hand with scorners.
- For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleepeth all the night; in the morning it burneth as a flaming fire.
- They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me.
- Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
- Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.
- And the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek him for all this.
- Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
- When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard.
- Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
- And they have not cried unto me with their heart, when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.
- Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.
- They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
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Thought for the day:
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The story of Hosea and his adulterous wife Gomer is a direct picture of God's relationship with Israel. It is also a picture of His relationship with His people today. Hosea the prophet was commanded to marry a woman who would not be faithful to him. He did so, and three children were born to the union. The names of all three are significant. The name Jezreel (4) means "seed of God", and God intended to scatter His people as a sower scatters his seeds because of their wickedness against Him. The name Loruhamah (6) means "no mercy", and was given because God was now going to deal with Israel in an unmerciful manner because of their rebellion. He had offered His mercy many times, but the time of mercy was now over for them. The third name, Loammi (9) means, "not my people". Look at the explanation God gives for this choice:
"for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God" (9).
Can you imagine this, that God would turn His back on His own people and refuse to have a relationship with them? Yet this is what the Lord said that He would do to those who were in a spiritually adulterous relationship with Him.
Yet even in this chapter hope is given to Israel. The last verses state,
"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" (10-11).
In spite of God's turning away from Israel, He can not be unfaithful to His promise given to Abraham. The nation would grow, and eventually they would be brought back to a position of of righteousness and fruitfulness within the land. The word Jezreel occurs again here, and also in 2:22-23 where we read,
"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 had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God."
Here the same word Jezreel, which you will remember means "seed of God", indicates seed that is being firmly planted and will be productive. In 1-4 the seed was scattered because of sin, here it is sowed, because God will graciously restore His people someday.
Chapter 3 gives a beautiful and touching portrayal of how this will take place. Hosea's wife had left him in order to play the harlot around town. God told him to go and find her and bring her home. Note in verse 1 that He told him to "love her" even though she was an adulteress. The basis of this love was to be God's affection towards Israel in spite of their sinfulness. It says that Hosea bought her for 15 pieces of silver, plus some grain. This indicates that Gomer was in the slave market to be sold to the highest bidder. The fact that she was purchased at that price indicated that no one wanted her, for the price was about one-half the cost of a slave. Yet her husband wanted her, in spite of her condition, and He brought her home with the promise that she would abide with Him and that He would provide for her.
Not only does this picture God and Israel, but it shows His love for us as well. We were slaves to sin, and completely unable to save ourselves. We had no spiritual value, and our flesh had no good thing in it. Yet Jesus Christ loved us enough that He paid the price on Calvary for my sin and redeemed me to Himself. He brought me out of the slave market of sin, restored me to Himself, and constantly abides with me. As the song writer said, "Hallelujah! What a Savior".
Pastor Mark J Montgomery