Read Hosea 7 -- 14
The Northern Kingdom of Israel did not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him. . . . Ephraim (symbolic of the Northern Kingdom) also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria (Hosea 7:10-11) for national security rather than trust the Lord and worship Him according to His Word. Nothing could have been more foolish for the Israelites than to seek help from Egypt, which had once cruelly enslaved them, or to make friends with Assyria the ungodly, which would soon destroy them. Tragically, in doing this, they were rejecting the Lord who loved them and who called them out of all the people in the world to be His people.
The leaders of Israel had gone up to Assyria . . . I have written . . . great things in My Law, but they were counted as a strange thing (of no concern). . . . For Israel has forgotten his Maker. . . . They have . . . corrupted themselves. . . . their glory shall fly away like a bird . . . they shall be wanderers among the nations (8:9,12,14; 9:9,11,17). The Lord gave a heartrending plea for Israel to return to Him before they were destroyed: It is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you (10:12). We can feel God's heartbreak as He sadly says: I drew them with cords . . . of love. . . . O Israel, you have destroyed yourself . . . in Me is your help (11:4;13:9). He pleaded: O Israel, return to the Lord your God; for you have fallen by your iniquity (14:1).
Although former warnings of judgment from God were changed to a message of compassion, this did not mean that He had changed His mind. Even though a Holy God must judge His people, He had ultimately promised restoration to Israel when they returned to Him.
Israel had put its trust in other nations and false gods (5:13; 7:11; 8:9-10) and in its own strength (12:8), rather than in the One who is the Only True Savior. Yet, we see the willingness of the Lord to show mercy, as He always does to any repentant sinner, when He said: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely (14:4). The final words of the prophet Hosea before they were conquered by the Assyrians is a reminder to all of us: Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall (14:9).
When we repent, turn from our sins, receive Jesus as our Savior, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit control our lives, we are miraculously freed from the power of Satan, sin, and spiritual death. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:4-5).
Christ Revealed: In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). This prophecy is twofold: one is a historical reference pertaining to Israel (Ex. 4:22-23); and the other is prophetic, looking to the sojourn of Christ as a child in Egypt (Matt. 2:14-15).
Word Studies: 9:1 a whoring means in an unfaithful way; cornfloor means threshing floor; 10:5 calves means golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride means to put in harness; 11:12 ruleth with God means is faithful to God.
BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Pray for Dr. Paul R. Gupta, President, Hindustan Bible Institute, Madras, India; Coordinator for Bible Pathway in Indian languages · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer · Country: Armenia (3 million) southwest Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia · Major languages: Armenian and Russian · Religious freedom · 79% Armenian/Russian Orthodox; 3% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and give thanks to the Lord for your brothers and sisters in Christ (Colossians 1:2-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Daniel 6:25-26