Monday, April 18, 2011

Hosea 1: 6-11

6Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the LORD said to him, "Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them.

7"But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen."

8When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son.

9And the LORD said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God."

10Yet the number of the sons of Israel
Will be like the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered;
And in the place
Where it is said to them,
"You are not My people,"
It will be said to them,
"You are the sons of the living God."
11And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel will be gathered together,
And they will appoint for themselves one leader,
And they will go up from the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel.

The remainder of Hosea, Chapter 1, introduces us to Gomer's two other children. As we learned with Jezreel's name, God had plans in the naming of these two siblings.

Lo-ruhamah is the daughter, and the meaning of her name is summed up in verse 6--"...for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel." It is hard to imagine our most merciful God as saying He no longer has compassion. But we know, most recently, from our study of Amos, that the prophets have been called into action because of the severity of the sin nature of Israel. That God would name the prophet's daughter Lo-ruhamah is not something easily glossed over.

Judah, however would continue to receive God's compassion in this time--and mighty arm! Note the wording in verse 7: "I will...deliver them by the LORD their God and will not delivery them by...." God was going to bat for Judah and its king, Hezekiah, to protect them from an assault by the Assyrians in 701 B.C. [What a slap in the face that must have been for Israel, having been defeated by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.!] Enjoy the fullness of the text as you read it from II Kings:

'Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.'

'For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD will perform this. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, 'He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,' declares the LORD. 'For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'

Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead."

--II Kings 19:29-35 (italics mine)

In verse 9, we are introduced to younger brother, Lo-ammi, which means "not my people." Again, it seems unfathomable for God to declare His people not His people. The language is strong! Israel needed to change. Israel needed to bow down and remember God. I have to wonder what people thought when they got their birth announcements. It makes for quite a trio when you put them all together: remembering bloodshed and punishment; without compassion; not My people. For a prophet of "salvation", that must have been quite a burden!

But, even as God pronounces His thoughts concerning Israel, He quickly shifts His focus in verse 10, to say that after this time, there will be a time of blessing, and there will be a people who are His people. Lest discerning Israelites feared that the covenant made with Abraham was no longer valid, God clears that up. The number of the sons of Israel will be like "the sand on the sea."

"Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies."

--Genesis 22:17 (God speaking to Abraham)

In the place in which God speaks through Hosea, God will, once again, make Himself known. And Israel, Lo-ammi, will then be called "sons of the living God." There is a future of promise fulfilled awaiting Israel, but not in the time of Hosea nor in the time of Paul, who quoted the prophet in Chapter 9 of Romans:

"What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.


--Romans 9:22-26

Verse 11 continues with what was to come in the end times--the restoration of Israel and the coming of One who will rule over all. As was alluded to last week, "great is the day of Jezreel" when Christ will be Lord on Earth, destroying the armies of Satan at Har-Magedon.

Chapter 2, "Israel's Unfaithfulness Condemned" begins.... 'Til next Wednesday!

* * *

Next week: Hosea 2: 1-7

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation,
specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB).
I will quote other sources if used in a post.

I also use
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
(with notes from the King James Version).

1 comment:

Carmen said...

This was so good, Sue. It mirrored what I was reading in Ez. 23 and Ez. 38 and touching on Hosea 1:9. Ez. 38:14-speaking of the last days, once again shows God calling Israel "His people". There's speculation that the times of the Gentiles will be over and God will again place His whole focus on Israel at this time. I guess we'll see if that's what happens.