Hosea

 
Hosea is a very unusual book because God commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children with her because the land was engaged in spiritual prostitution.  As the first chapter unfolds, it appears that God is using Hosea’s marriage to a prostitute to reveal a pattern and/or the state of God’s marriage to Israel and Judah.  
 
If you recall, God originally called a mixed multitude out of idolatrous Egypt where they were accustomed to idolatry and most likely participated in it to some degree.  God’s purpose at that time was to bring them to Mount Sinai in order to marry them just like God wanted Hosea to marry a harlot. 
 
Hosea complied with God’s unusual request and married a woman named Divlayim which means two cakes—most likely two cakes of figs.  This is a strange name to us but it complements the pattern of Israel who was divided into the Northern Kingdom known as the house of Israel or Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom known as the house of Judah.

 

Megiddo and Jezreel Valley

God told Hosea to name his firstborn son Jezreel because Jehu shed blood there and that He planned to put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel (Ephraim) in the Jezreel Valley.  If you recall, Jehu was anointed the king of Israel by Elijah and was responsible for killing those who remained from the house of Ahab after the ministry of Elijah, for killing Ahab’s great men and acquaintances, his priests, and Jezebel.  In similar fashion, God’s anointed Son, Jesus will return to punish the Beast (Antichrist), False Prophet, and their armies who worship the image of the Beast because they intend to kill all of the Jews and seize the land of Israel for themselves.  He will kill them at Har Meggido (Armageddon) which is in the southern part of the Jezreel Valley and reign as King in Israel.

Divlayim had a daughter named Lo-Ruchamah (which means unpitied) because God will not have pity on the house of Israel or forgive them.  Actually, God did not have pity on the house of Israel and allowed them to be carried away by the Assyrians.  God will also use Israel’s enemies in the future to punish them for breaking His covenant so they will repent and cry out to Him for salvation.

God told Hosea that He would have pity on the house of Judah and save them Himself.  Even though God allowed Babylon to carry away the house of Judah, He eventually showed them pity and allowed them to return to Israel.  In the future, God will have pity on His people and send Jesus to save His people.

Divlayim had another son named Lo-Ammi (not My people) because God said the house of Israel was not His people and He would not be their God.  In other words, since God divorced the house of Israel, they were no longer His people and He was no longer their God (Is. 50:1; Jer. 3:8).

God continued by telling Hosea that the House of Israel will be innumerable.  Even though the entire Northern Kingdom did not return to Israel, some did while others were scattered throughout the earth.  Some have maintained their ethnicity while others intermarried with the people of foreign lands.  Their descendants are certainly scattered throughout the earth and are extremely numerous today; however, they are not exactly lost.  In fact, some have proven their ethnicity and been allowed to return to Israel.  When you have time, look at http://www.cohen-levi.org/the_tribe/tribes_of_israel.htm , http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts.html and other similar sites on the internet.

The time will come when the house of Israel will be called the children of the living God and the houses of Ephraim and Judah will be united together and will appoint one leader.  They will go up out of the land for great will be the day of Jezreel.  They will have to come out of the land and go to a safe place so they can be protected when God destroys their enemies.  This is the basic pattern presented in Hosea chapter 1.

In Hosea 2, Hosea was commanded to go, take, and redeem his adulterous wife and bring her back home.  She was to be in seclusion and be his wife although she would not have sexual relations with him most likely because she was defiled.  This would be a picture of how Jesus came, redeemed His people, and returned to His Father in heaven for a time when the people of Israel would be in seclusion without a king, prince, sacrifice, standing-stone, ritual vest or household gods.   Today, God’s people can’t perform sacrifices and purification rituals with the ashes of a red heifer because the temple is no longer standing; however, thanks to Jesus’ blood, the sins and trespasses of those who believe in the Messiah have been atoned and they have been made clean (Ezek. 36:25; Heb. 10:22).

God told Hosea that after this time of seclusion was completed, He will woo the house of Israel back to Himself, they will repent and seek the Lord, and He will betroth her to Himself in faithfulness.  God’s people will come trembling to Him and His goodness in the last days.  He will have pity on them, they will be His people, and He will be their God.

As we wait for Jesus to return, we can imagine how painful this process will be for Israel.  As we watch the future unfold, let’s pray for the whole house of Israel to know their Messiah as Lord and Savior, for God to be merciful to His people, and to rescue them from their enemies quickly.

 

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