Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hosea 13: 15-16

15 Though he flourishes among the reeds,
An east wind will come,
The wind of the LORD coming up from the wilderness;
And his fountain will become dry
And his spring will be dried up;
It will plunder his treasury of every precious article.
16 Samaria will be held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword,
Their little ones will be dashed in pieces,
And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

With our calendar year coming to a close on Saturday, it is appropriate that we close out another chapter this week (and the book of Hosea over the first few weeks of January). As you can see in the "Scripture Calendar" column, Isaiah is coming up next. I am praying over how to handle the 66-chapter book. As much as I would like to continue taking smaller sections apart, that would mean spending multiple years on the blog in Isaiah. Hmmm.... Would you stay with me? Could I stay with the book? A chapter a week would be more than a year's time, regardless. It would bless me to know that you are praying for guidance for me in this. Thanks!
The closing verses of Hosea 13 do not leave us with pretty pictures. Remember back to Hosea, Chapter 10: "Israel is a luxuriant vine...." (vs. 1) It is this same vine that is now referred to as flourishing amidst the reeds. But, the east wind--the sirocco--has come. Other translations take the metaphor out and speak more plainly: "Though he flourishes among the brothers, Assyria will come."

Like the burning hot wind from the East, Assyria will move in by the "wind of the Lord" and will sweep Israel away, taking all of its preciously stored up goods and supplies. (vs. 15) He gives and takes away! The "fountain" and "spring" that spiritually nourished the nation and guided the people in all things will dry up, leaving them parched for sustenance.

Israel's capital, Samaria, will fall at the hands of the Assyrians. The rest of verse 16 presents the horrors of the fate awaiting. The Assyrians were known for their intensely violent actions, and Israel would be spared none of them.

"‘But it was plucked up in fury;
It was cast down to the ground;
And the east wind dried up its fruit.
Its strong branch was torn off
So that it withered;
The fire consumed it.
‘And now it is planted in the wilderness,
In a dry and thirsty land.
‘And fire has gone out from its branch;
It has consumed its shoots and fruit,
So that there is not in it a strong branch,
A scepter to rule.’”
--Ezekiel 19: 12-14

"Assyria will not save us." Hosea makes his final plea, as Chapter 14 begins .... 'Til next Wednesday!

Happy New Year! 
The year of our Lord 2012


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Next week: Hosea 14: 1-3

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).