Hosea Article #10


Chapter 8

GOD IS ALSO JUST.

We hear from pulpits, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and read banners on church walls that GOD IS LOVE. Yes this is true but we forget that he is also “JUST” as in his final justice system.  In other words, we as individuals will get precisely what we deserve. Seldom do we hear a message with the emphasis on God getting angry. Hosea addresses this in chapter 8. He points out that the God of Israel (both kingdoms to the north and the south) will tolerate nothing to be putor come before him. This is also the First Commandment on he Stone Tablets Moses brought to the people of Israel while they were in their Wilderness wanderings.

Like many of us, we may have moments of spiritual up-lifting but then slide back to our sinful ways by putting other things in front of our respect, fear, and responsibilities to God and Jesus our Messiah-Savior. While the Prophet Amos is preaching this to the southern parts of Kingdom of Israel, Hosea is preaching it to the Kingdom of Israel to the north. When we draw close to him then and only then will he draw close to us (James 4:8). This is Israel’s problem during the time of Hosea. They have made God a religion; one of several religious practices they did in parallel to God. One major sin they practiced in Baal worship was child sacrifice. How can this be practiced in abortion clinics without eventually paying a steep personal price? Child sacrifice is murder no matter how one defines or tries to justify it.

ABORTION IS MURDER–modern child sacrifice

The trumpet is sounded to Assyria to attack the northern Kingdom of Israel. The setting as explained in earlier Hosea articles is warfare. Egypt and Assyria were arch enemies. The kingdom of Israel was known to the Assyrians as Bit-Humri, ‘House of Omri’. Together with the kingdoms of Hamat and Damascus (Syria), it dominated the political landscape of Syro-Palestine in the 9th and 8th centuries BC and, like them, it eventually fell victim to the Assyrian expansion to the Mediterranean (Karen Radner, ‘Israel, the ‘House of Omri”, Assyrian empire builders) It was King Jehu on the throne of Israel when the Assyrians began picking them off one or two tribal territories at a time. Hosea lived through this time in History. Some of this is history recorded in Assyrian records and on the archeologic discoveries such as the Black Obelisk.

Here is the setting according to scripture:

(King) Ahaz (of Juda) sent messengers to say to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, ‘I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram (i.e. Damascus) and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me’. And Ahaz took silver and gold… and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria complied” (2 Kings 16:7-9). It was King Ahaz of Judah who brought Assyria’s King Pul (aka: Tiglath-pileser) into the war(s). In short…it is ultimately Israelis against Israelis; Gods method of judgment upon Israel and the beginnings of great territorial expansion by Assyria.

In Assyrian secular records of Tiglath-pileser we also find: “The land Bit-Humri (meaning the Northern kingdom of Israel), all of whose cities I had utterly devastated in my former campaigns, whose [people] and livestock I had carried off and whose (capital) city Samaria alone had been spared: (now) they overthrew Peqah, their king.” (Tiglath-pileser III records)

“The land Bit-Humri (Israel; King Omri): I brought to Assyria […], its auxiliary army, and an assembly of its people. They (or: I) killed their king Peq(k)ah and I placed *Hoshea [as king] over them.” (Tiglath-pileser III records) This was 732 B.C.

*Do not confuse King Hoshea of Israel with Hosea the prophet.

After Tiglath-pileser died (727 B.C.), Hoshea [who probably only ruled over the territories of the Tribe of Ephraim] revolted against the new Assyrian king, Shalmaneser. Consequently he invaded Israel, took Hoshea prisoner, and besieged Samaria. When the city fell [by siege] three years later, many of Israel’s citizens were deported to {hinterland] Assyria, and the Assyrians ruled in Israel. (Encyclopedia Britannica) [emphasis mine]

JIV INSIGHT: When we read of Damascus in the bible and even early secular history, this evolved into what we know today as Syria. Damascus had a king that eventually ruled over the lands of Syria. Samaria was the capital of the Northern Kingdom. It was also situated within the territory of the Tribe of Ephraim.

Also…the names Hoshea and Hosea mean “Salvation.” Hmmmmm?

Now that we know the historical backdrop to Hosea 8 let’s look at what God was saying through the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 8

When trumpets sound it is to herald troops or populations. It is primarily a way to get people’s attention. Even the “Last Trumpet” sounding will herald the second coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:52), the raising of the dead, and the end of End Time; i.e. the 7 year Tribulation.

In Hosea 8:1 it is a call for the end of the Northern kingdom of Israel. The next trumpet Israelis will hear is 1 Corinthians 15:52. The cry of Israel in verse two is like being guilty of being caught, not repentance. They tried to shift the blame to God by claiming to be his people therefore qualifying for his elite protection. They may have also pleaded with their other gods of wood, stone and golden calf but scripture does not state this. (note Hosea 8:5 below)

The golden calf as described in the book of Exodus

Hosea 8:3 is specific. “Israel has cast off the thing (God’s protection) that is good.” Verse 4 goes even further…the kings of Israel were not kings by God’s choice. Similar to religions and the churches today we make our worship what we want it to be; not as God defines it in the Book of Acts and other places. We are unequally yoked in a common building with unbelievers. This is evangelical but not worship as God expects. Think on this! There is a significant difference to be in a worship center unequally yoked with unbelievers who are there for who-knows-what reason…religious habit perhaps?

Hosea 8:5 is very similar in context as was Elijah’s experience in the same territory of the Northern Kingdom of Israel years earlier (1 Kings 18:20-40). Hosea 8:5a…”Your calf is rejected” (ESV). Just as happened with Elijah and the priests of Baal at Mt Carmel when Ahab was king and Jezebel his queen, their god Baal failed them then and now. Hosea points out that this false god has failed them again. God’s anger, in part, is due to the fact that after a short time, Israel returned to their deaf and dumb gods including Baal. This reminds us of the “Pet Rock” rage of 1975. Pet rocks did absolutely nothing, did not need house training, stayed put, and ate nothing. This is also reflective of Baal. Neither pet rocks nor Baal could protect the household or the lands and possessions of Israel.

Hosea 8:6 is even more comparative to the Pet Rock era. It reads in the NKJV in the middle of that verse…Á workman made it, and it is not god” just as the Pet Rock was not a real pet.

David Guzik’s Commentary defines it well per Hosea 8:11…”When we give ourselves opportunity and occasion for sin, it is never surprising when we end up sinning.”

In a very real sense and often overlooked in a read-through-the-Bible scenario, this verse explicitly identifies God as its author…Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing” (ESV). Note the words “I & my laws” This reference is to the Ten Commandments God had already written for Moses and the wandering Israelites.

Hosea 8:13b (ESV) is a solid reminder of the future Bema Seat and the Great White Throne judgements. In the Bema seat it is the sins not yet *confessed that will be judged per the believer. The Great White Throne Judgement is the final judgement. Those in the earth and on earth without Christ will be finally and fatally judged…”Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins…”

*Confession is not a laundry list of deeds or misdeeds. It is confession of being a sinner and needing to ask forgiveness (as in the Lord’s Prayer) “Just as we forgive those who have sinned against us.” God forgives in like manner according to the Lord’s Prayer.

Jstark
2020

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