11-5-06 New Life Christian Fellowship
Hosea: A Call to Faithfulness
1. God takes the initiative in communicating with His people, whether to promise blessing or to pronounce judgment.
v.1. “The word of the Lord which came to Hosea…….. “
Amos 3:7; John 1:1-18; Hebrews 1:1, 2; I Peter 4:17
2. God’s word is always appropriate for the particular times and conditions.
“In the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Good kings who followed the Lord, some fell into sin and were rebuked, some did not follow the ways of the Lord and were punished. II Chronicles 26 - 31
II Timothy 3:16; 4:2 “the Word is profitable for teaching, reproof,”
Luke 9:55; Revelation 2:1 – 3:13: Letters to the churches are words of rebuke and encouragement.
3. God will always vindicate His holiness and punish sin and unrighteousness.
vv.4, 5. “ I will punish……” Isaiah 5:16; 48:9-11; Jeremiah 5:11-17; Romans 12:19;
Galatians 6:7; II Thessalonians 1:5-10
4. God will always preserve His people as a remnant. V.10.
Romans 9:26; 11:5; Isaiah 1:9; 10:22
II Peter 2:4-10: The Lord knows how to rescue the godly……….
God chooses to manifest His glory in this way. He could give grace to all, but there would not be a manifestation of His justice and righteousness. He could refuse grace to all, but there would not be a manifestation of His mercy and kindness. Romans 9: 14-26/ Hosea 1:10; 2:23
Luke 13:22-30: “Will those who are saved be few?”
Our Lord answers this question by exhorting us to strive to enter. It is not for us to determine the number of those saved, we are obligated to avail ourselves of the opportunity that has been given to us.
Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. Romans 5:20
Revelation 5:6-14; 7:9-17 There will be a great multitude in heaven which no one can number, praising God and the Lamb for His great salvation.
“The Valley of Achor”
(Joshua 7:26 ; Isaiah 65:10)
The Valley of Achor was the place where Achan was stoned because of his great sin at Jericho. The word ‘achor’ means trouble.
Isaiah 65:10 says that the Valley of Achor will be a resting place for herds for the people who seek the Lord.
The place of trouble, judgement, sin, loss, pain, becomes a place of rest and blessing to those who seek the Lord.
A contrast of these verses reminds us of a very important spiritual principle. This principle is meant to be a great encouragement to those who sincerely desire to serve the Lord.
There are several principles in the kingdom that appear to be contradictory and even ridiculous to the natural man.
“He who loves his life will lose it.” Matthew 10:39; 16:25
“The greatest will be the servant of all.” Matthew 20:26
“God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9, 10
God can bring good out of situations that are not good.
Psalm 84:6 : Valley of Baca (place of weeping) becomes and place of springs.
II Corinthians 4:16- 18 : Momentary, light affliction achieves an eternal weight of glory.
Psalm 30:5 : His anger lasts a moment, His favor lasts a lifetime.
Romans 8:28 : All things work together for good….. This rests on an understanding that the Spirit of God is interceding for us according to the will of God.
We must avoid two extremes:
1. We must not equate all weakness and problems with sin in a person’s life. ( Job’s friends) We must avoid legalism.
2. We must also avoid antinomianism. This means that since we are saved by grace, it no longer matters how we live. It does matter! God’s chastening proves this. Sin in our lives impedes the blessing of God in our lives. When it is judged and repented of, the blessing is restored and progress continues.
SIN MUST BE JUDGED; EITHER BY OURSELVES OR BY THE LORD.
I Corinthians 11:27-32 ; Proverbs 28:13 : “He who conceals his transgression will not prosper.”
BLESSING COMES AFTER BREAKING. Psalm 30:4,5 ; Lamentations 3:22-32
Israel conquered Ai after Achan’s sin was put away. Joshua 8:1 ff.
Solomon (loved of the Lord) is born to David and Bathsheba after the death of their first son. II Samuel 12:24
Job’s end was better than his beginning; the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
James 5:11 ; I Peter 5:10
“The God of all grace”
Hosea 2:19 – 3:5
Our ongoing study of the book of Hosea is profitable for a number of reasons. It is a call to repentance and faithfulness. It is a searching and challenging book that teaches us much about the character and nature of our great and awesome God and our responsibilities to Him.
The texts before us in chapters two and three reveal the amazing grace and love of God in a very graphic and touching way. God has been rebuking the people for their unfaithfulness and sin. He has threatened judgment and punishment and has also spoken words of comfort and encouragement. 2:15 “I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
The Lord continues to call Israel to return and He seeks to assure their hearts of His unchanging love, forgiveness and commitment by making a most extraordinary promise.
v.19. “I will betroth you to me forever.” The Lord promises to receive Israel as His people in spite of their failure to keep the covenant. He promises to marry them with an eternal covenant, based upon His own purpose and power.
The marriage covenant is a favorite Biblical picture of God’s relationship with His people.
Isaiah 54:5-8; Jeremiah 31”31-34; Matthew 9:14, 15; 22:1-4; 25:1-13; John 3:29;
II Corinthians 11:1-3; Ephesians 5:22-32; Revelation 19:7-9; 21:2, 9; 22:17
This covenant is the foundation of all peace, security and hope. It is forever!
Isaiah 45:17; 54:8, 55:3; Jeremiah 31:3; 32:38-40; John 6:37; Hebrews 6:17-20; 13:5
“in righteousness and justice” Jeremiah 9:24; 33:14-16
God will give His people a new heart and a new spirit. Jeremiah 31:32; Ezekiel 11:19,20; 16:59-63
v.19. “in steadfast love and in mercy” Isaiah 63:7; Jeremiah 31:3
Our response to the steadfast love and mercy of God: Psalm 26:3; 63:3; Romans 12:1
“The God of all grace”
v.20. “I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”
The knowledge of God is the essence of salvation and is only possible through Christ, the Mediator. John 1:18; 6:45, 46; 17:3; Galatians 4:9; Ephesians 4:13,17-21; Philippians 3:10;
Jeremiah 9:24; 31:33, 34;
v.23. “And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
God’s gracious promise to the Gentiles is revealed here through the prophet Hosea and is referred to by the Apostle Paul in his great teaching in Romans 9-11 as evidence of God’s eternal purpose to save Israel. He uses the salvation of the Gentiles to make Israel jealous and cause her to seek Him in the later days.
This great mystery was the theme of the prophetic word for many centuries and was central to the events surrounding the incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the early preaching and teaching of the apostles.
Isaiah 9:1-7; 42:6; 49:6; 51:4; 60:1-3; Luke 1:78,79; 2:32; John 1:1-5,14; Acts 13:47; 15:16,17; Romans 9:25; I Peter 2:10;
Ephesians 3:1-12: The eternal purpose of God is the mystery of Christ, which is the Gentiles being fellow-heirs with the Jews in the Body.
Romans 11:11, 25: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles are brought in. vv.12-15; Luke 21:24
Hosea 3:5: “Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the Lord and to his goodness in the later days.” Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 2:1-3; 4:1-6; 59:20,21 / Romans 11:26
“The Knowledge of God”
God states His complaint against the people of the land. He mentions some of the things that will bring judgment to the land of Israel.
“There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,” II Timothy 4:1-4
“and no knowledge of God in the land.” II Timothy 3:5-7
Isaiah 1:3; 5:13,24; John 4:10,22; 7:28; 8:19; I Corinthians 8:4-7
Knowledge of God is essential. Jeremiah 9:24
This is linked to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:23,37-44; 8:19, 42; 17:1-5
Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 1:17; II Peter 3:18
God will punish a willful rejection of the knowledge of the truth.
II Thessalonians 1:8; 2:9-11; Romans 1:24-32; Acts 28:25-27 / Isaiah 6:9; John 12:37-43
Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Our knowledge of God is preceded by election. John 10:14; Romans 8:29/ I Peter 1:2
Galatians 4:9; II Timothy 2:19
Our knowledge of God is provided by grace. Jeremiah 31:31-34 / Hebrews 8:10-12;
John 6:44, 45/ Ephesians 4:20,21; Colossians 1:9,10
Our knowledge of God is proven by obedience. I John 2:3-6; 4:6
Our knowledge of God is purified by love. I John 4:7-11
7-2-00; 2-4-07 New Life
“A Call to Repentance and a Promise of Blessing”
v.1. “Come, let us return to the Lord.”
The prophet here expresses his awareness of the need to return to the Lord. The problem was not with God. Whatever had changed in the relationship of Israel and the Lord was not due to any change in God. The Lord is constant and true. He is always faithful.
I Corinthians 1:9 ; 10:13 ; II Timothy 2:13.
Sin causes separation. Sin hides the light of God’s countenance. We draw back from God, He does not leave or forsake us.
Isaiah 43:22 “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel.”
Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
Jeremiah 2:5 “Thus says the Lord, ‘What injustice did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty?”
v.1. “For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.”
It is because God is faithful that He chastens and wounds us. His goodness leads us to repentance. Romans 2:4.
Psalm 119:67, 71, 75. “In faithfulness Thou hast afflicted me.”
(7-9-00) Lamentations 3:31,32. “For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.”
vv.39-41. We have no right to complain, in view of our sins. God does not treat us as we deserve. Psalm 103:8-10.
Our proper response: v.40 “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”
James 5:11. “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
v.2. “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.”
God is faithful to keep us. He will restore and revive the work of grace in our lives.
Jeremiah 24:7 “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 ; 32:38-41
Ezekiel 37:14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life.” (Valley of dry bones
v.3. “So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” Chastening has the positive effect of intensifying our longing after God. The heat of afflictions produces a thirsting for God. Famine in the wilderness makes us hungry for the heavenly manna, the Bread of Life.Psalm 42:1-5 ; Philippians 3:7-14.
“Steadfast Love, and Not Sacrifice.”
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
v.4: The Lord reproves Israel for being fickle, inconstant and unfaithful.
v.5: The Word of the Lord by the prophets was meant to correct, convict and expose their sin and lead them to repentance.
v.6: The Lord states the essence of true religion, that which is pleasing to Him.
Steadfast love / not sacrifice; Knowledge of God / not burnt offerings
This passage was quoted by our Lord on two separate occasions. It is helpful to see why in order to gain a better understanding of its meaning for us today.
Matthew 9:13: In this passage the Pharisees complained that Christ was eating with the tax collectors and the sinners. Their self-righteousness was condemned and exposed.
Matthew 12:7: In this passage the Pharisees complained that the disciples broke the Sabbath by eating the grain, exposing their formalism and hypocrisy.
Watch out for hypocrisy! Mark 7:1-13; Luke 11:37-44; 12:1
Sacrifices are insufficient. God wants sincere hearts and true devotion.
Isaiah 1:10-15; 40:12-18; 66:1-5; Jeremiah 7:21-26; James 1:27
Which sacrifices are pleasing to the Lord?
I Samuel 15:22; Psalm 40:6; 50:14; 51:16,17; Hebrews 13:15,16
Deuteronomy 5:26-33: “Oh that they had such a heart in them………. “
“You will reap what you sow.”
In the midst of a continued rebuke for Israel’s sins, the prophet makes this challenging statement to once again call the people to a renewal of their commitment and restoration to the Lord.
V.10. Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
Sow for yourselves righteousness……… This analogy of sowing and reaping was already used in a much more negative way in chapter 8:7: “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”
The principle always remains true; we get out what we put in. What is the level of our spiritual desire? Matthew 5:6; Luke 8:8, 18; Romans 6:11-23; II Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1; 9:6-11
Matthew 13:44, 45: The hidden treasure and the costly pearl.
Reap steadfast love. Matthew 13:12; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 5:9,10
Break up your fallow ground. The fallow ground was ground that was broken up in the past season, but was not plowed this season for maximum yield.
There are times that we as saints need to be stirred up. We let our affections cool, our discipline decline and our commitment weaken.
Jeremiah 4:3; II Peter 1:13; Hebrews 6:12; Revelation 2:4
For it is time to seek the Lord that He may come. We must make the most of the present time, redeem the time, tomorrow is not promised and today is the day of grace and salvation. We must seek the Lord until He comes. We need perseverance and patience, waiting in submission and faith.
Luke 8:15; I Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9; James 5:7-11
And rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 6:3; Ezekiel 34:26
God has been speaking through the prophet to call His people to repentance and faithfulness. Israel’s sin has been great and persistent. The Lord has rebuked them sharply and threatened to bring severe punishment upon them. Throughout the letter, He has also made repeated statements of mercy and forgiveness, expressing His tender love and kindness. 1:10; 2:14, 19, 23
v.1. “When Israel was a youth ……..” Exodus 4:22, 23 this primarily refers to the time of Israel’s bondage in Egypt. God revealed His purpose to Abraham centuries before. Genesis 15:13; 17:7;
Deuteronomy 4:32-39; 7:6-8; 10:12-16
v.1. “out of Egypt I called my son.” God’s Word is truly inspired! The initial fulfillment is in Israel’s deliverance but the ultimate fulfillment was in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Matthew 2:15
v. 2. recounts Israel’s habitual sinning and departing from the Lord.
v.3, 4: God’s gracious working of teaching, healing and leading. John 6:44,45; I Corinthians 2:12
vv.8, 9: An amazing expression of the love of God for His people.
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel?”
Isaiah 49:15; Jeremiah 31:35-37; Zephaniah 3:17 ( Luke 13:34,35; 19:41-44 )
The love of God is amazing because it is eternal and infinite in nature. God is love.
Lamentations 3:22; Jeremiah 31:3; I John 4:8-10
The love of God is amazing because it is sovereign. God is not obligated to manifest His love to sinful creatures. Romans 9:13 / Malachi 1:2, 3 vessels of wrath / vessels of mercy
His love for us precedes our love for Him. Romans 5:6-10; Ephesians 2:1-10; I John 4:19
The love of God is amazing because it is mediated through Christ. He is the Beloved Son.
Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Romans 8:39; Ephesians 1:6
“The Ways of the Lord Are Right”
“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
The great truths of the Word of God, the revelation of the ways of God, are not going to be received and understood by everyone. The truth itself has a tendency to divide and sift and to also reveal the character of the person. Matthew 13:9-13; 21:44; Luke 8:18; I Corinthians 1:18-24; II Corinthians 2:14-17; I Peter 2:4-8
Wisdom is to characterize the walk of the Christian. Ephesians 5:15; James 1:5; 3:13-17
Fallen man has a tendency to question the ways of God.
Ezekiel 18:25; 33:12-20; Psalm 73:1-17; Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:12,13; Romans 9:14,19
Jonah 3:10 – 4:4; Job 40:1; Matthew 19:23–27; Luke 15:2; 19:24, 25; John 6:41
Sinners scoff at God’s Word. They presume upon His patience and continue in sin without any fear of judgment, even denying the reality of sin itself. Isaiah 5:19; 28:14-22; Jeremiah 17:15
God’s ways are indeed mysterious to man. Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:38
God’s ways are good and right, but they are hidden from us until He is pleased to reveal them to us.
Isaiah 55:8,9; Nahum 1:3; Psalm 77:13; 97:2; 139:24; Habakkuk 3:6
The ways of God are right because they are founded upon:
· Infinite wisdom: Romans 11:33-36
· Omnipotent power: Ephesians 3:20,21
· Absolute holiness: Revelation 4:8; 15:3,4
· Unsearchable love: Ephesians 1:5,6
True wisdom requires that we respond the same way Job did: Job 42:1-6