April 5, 2013

Revealing Christ In The Old Testament XIX: A Call of Faithfulness To the Wayward


The prophet Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah and prophesied for nearly seventy years. He was God's messenger to the northern kingdom of Israel/Samaria. He also refers to the northern kingdom as Jacob ad Ephraim. Hosea is loaded with significant metaphors. Ephraim is "a cake not turned," meaning it is pretty much burnt to uselessness on at least one side which would then make the whole thing ruined. They are "a silly dove without a heart". Their king is "cut-off" as foam upon the water."

The land is identified first and foremost with wickedness. The moral state of Israel was abominable. The idolatry inaugurated by Jeroboam I, the son of Nebat, had continued for over two hundred years, and had manifested in nearly every form of vice among the people. They were in a pitiful spiritual condition. This is kind of like America and most of the world today. There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.

Hosea 4:1 ~ “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.”

Hosea was sent both to denounce the sins of the people and to proclaim to them the compassionate love of God. Hosea was to Show God’s willingness to have mercy upon them if they would just return to Him. Hosea like other prophets was made a sign to the people. His long-suffering love for a wife who proved a faithless whore to him, and whom he bought back from a life of shame, was to be an emulation of God's love to His rebellious people, who had broken their covenant with God. They are a wickedly depraved people that had given themselves over to idolatry and sin.

God first pronounces His judgment upon His people. He will be to them as a moth and decomposition, as a young lion, a leopard or a bear robbed of her cubs. He says He has shaped them by the prophets and slain them with the words of His mouth. He foretells of the awful destruction awaiting Samaria. The sword will slay them and fire will destroy them. Along with judgment He makes known His mercy also. God wants them to repent just as He wishes of us as believers and most likely…just as He wishes now of places like America that is in steep decline. The words directed at Israel could easily apply to us in our twisted and divided American culture.

Hosea 5:15 ~ “Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”

Nothing, and I mean nothing will exceed the intensity and gravity of the Almighty God entreating us to return to Him. Yet most will ignore.

Hosea 14:1 ~ “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!”

Yet they would ignore the entreaties just as America will too. The signs of judgment were already upon them as they are upon us.

The Messianic allusions in this book are obvious. Peter and Paul show us that the prophecy in Hosea 1:10 has been fulfilled in Christ (1 Peter 2:10; Romans 11:25-26).

Hosea 1:10 ~ “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’

1 Peter 2:10 ~ “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Romans 11:25-26 ~ “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[a] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

In Hosea 3:4 the present state of Israel is described as "without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an ephod"—some of these are the signs of the priest—because they have rejected their King, their Priest in the order of Melchizedek, and are still rejecting the sacrifice He offered at the Crucifixion. Again, this is just like most of the godless nations today that have supplanted God with science, rationalization and reason.

We see Israel coming out of Egypt as a type of Christ in the reference to Egypt in Chapter 11, verse 1.

Hosea 11:1 ~ “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

Its real fulfillment, is in Matthew 2:15 “where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

In Christ, the only-begotten Son of God we see one Savior who drew us with cords of a Man with bands of love.

Hosea 11:4 ~ “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

Hosea 13:4 ~ ““But I have been the Lord your God ever since you came out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me

Matthew 1:21 ~ “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (Savior), because he will save his people from their sins."

Acts 4:12 ~ “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Hosea 13:14 ~ "I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion…”

1 Corinthians 15:54 ~ “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

Christ is indeed all over Hosea and Hosea is all over the New Testament when referring to Jesus Christ. What is sad is that I also see America and a majority of the modern culture also all over Hosea. This is a damning indictment to the culture of our age but in the end all brings glory to the Lord anyway if we would only turn to the Lord.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...