Chapter 11 (A form of Godliness)
We begin this article by looking back at Hosea 10:2a…”Their heart is false; they must bear their guilt. Might one say: “Lord please forgive your modern church (and me). There is so little evidence within these sanctuary walls to bear witness of much more than a face mask of goodness, love of you with equally and unequally yoked worship, fellowship, and study of your written Word. Our actual hearts are fake-faith.”
V11:1 Identifies God’s special connection to the people of Israel. “When Israel was a child in Egypt…” It began with Abraham and a promise. Then it deferred to Isaac; then to Jacob (AKA: Israel). It took three generations to simply begin fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham; Father of many nations [Genesis 17:5]. This is where the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel grew up to become a very large number of people; a nation without land; slaves to the Egyptian overlords. Exodus 9:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may worship me.’” We could just as easily say to the modern day church per our captivity of routine worship practices and status-quo attitudes. “CHURCH…Let the believers go.”
Peter Enns; Center for Bible Studies wrote and posted on the web: “… [Hosea] is making the case that Israel is breaking the covenant by allowing mere ritual to mask its breaking of the agreement (covenant). In the New Testament, Jesus makes a similar point in Matthew 9:13 and 12:7”. Peter Enns has it right; what Hosea writes regarding Israel (both the southern and northern kingdoms) parallels our lives today. BUT, one might claim, we don’t have or even consider a ritual practice of child sacrifice! If that is so, what does one call abortion?
Hosea 11:3 (& 4?) helps explain the use of the name Ephraim to occasionally identify the ten tribes in the northern kingdom. Look at how it is written. “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them…. I took them; they did not know; I healed them.” Not only did God teach the Israelites in Egypt to walk and stand on their own feet, but he also directed their paths. This is possibly the same way a mother might feel about her children even in old age…”I see daily how you walk and how or even if you learned.” The Expositor’s Bible adds…”I called Israel My son.”
Hosea points out that these northern Tribes of Israel will not return to Egypt but will be under the thumb and rule of Assyria. Why mention Egypt? It was there that they were held on a short leash and were captives. God saw them as his child (son). This is 700 to 800 years after leaving Egypt. They are adult and must be held responsible for their actions. They have departed their promised lands by dispersions of Assyrian kings…Tiglath-pileser III (744–727 B.C.), Shalmaneser V (726–722 B.C.), Sargon II (721–705 B.C.), *Sennacherib (704–681 B.C.), Esarhaddon (680–669 B.C.), and Ashurbanipal (668–627 B.C.). Why mention the Assyrian kings well after the almost total dispersion of the Ten Lost Tribes? Each of these kings is mentioned in the historical records of the Bible Old Testament and their influence over the creating the Lost Tribes of Israel.
*Sennacherib’s palace was discovered in 1847 by the shovel of Austin Layard in Nineveh. The Israelites, originally known to the Assyrians, as “Khumri” were placed in captivity near the river Habor, (Assyria) in the Gozan River area among the Medes in northern Iran, renamed “Gimira” [Saka named after Isaac] and “Cimmerians” [possibly implicating them to be Samarians]. Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Over time name changes evolved from their later migrations.
Hosea 11:7 is challenging to us. Why? My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. Are we in the New Testament called Christian; i.e. “HIS PEOPLE?” When we pray do we not usually begin with “My Father” or Dear God almighty?” If as supposed believers do we continue to be bent on turning away from God? When we call on the Most High, is it just as possible God will not raise us up for us at all? He will not leave us but can we leave HIM? We can’t be definitive on this but to trust and obey requires our trust in him and abeyance. See the following quote from F.B. Meyers.
F. B. Meyer: What more pathetic words were ever uttered by broken-hearted parents than Hosea 11:8-9! That is the motive of our plea still. If we were dealing with man, we might despair. But we are dealing with One who forgives us according to the riches of His grace. If a back-slider should read these touching appeals, let him be encouraged to retrace His steps one by one, sure that the Father waits to welcome him where the by-path has broken off from the main road.
Hosea (ESV) 11:10 is one of those “where is America” questions per scripture. It is worth a few moments of serious thought if considering the Hebrew in this verse. The inference is to End Times.
“They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;”
‘West’ in the Hebrew is yâm. It means from out of; a roar, great body of water. We do not claim that this is a reference to the Americas or even the USA, but it is worth consideration. After all, there are more of Israeli descent (misunderstood and lumped together as Jews) living in the Americas than in Israel today. The word “Jew” is first mentioned in II Kings. It is in reference to those from the Tribe of Judah. That nick name is found only a few times in the later books of the Bible: II Kings, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Esther and Chronicles. All are in reference to those who descended from Babylonian captivity, resettled Jerusalem, and were from the Tribe of Judah or reside in Judah.
Hosea 11:11 & 12 end with a promise that is exclusive to God’s chosen people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Israelites. “I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.” Obviously this happened in part in 1948. But not the lands ruled by King David and Solomon. Also not inclusive of the lands defined in scripture that far exceeds the traditionally known borders as the lands Joshua parceled.
We close this with something found in Biblestudies.org; Part 5:
“Jeremiah emphasizes two things: one, that the delivery of Israel into their own Land will be of far greater magnitude than the delivery of Israel from Egypt, for God will bring up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them, and two, that He will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers – not to the ever-shrinking borders set aside for them by Britain, nor to the sliced and diced parcels allotted to them by the United Nations, nor to any of the shifting borders arrived at since then, or will be arrived at, by means of war or international pressure – but to their own land which I gave to their fathers – to the full allotment that God promised to the patriarchs.”
You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers. ~ Ezekiel 36:28 ~
Rev Dr Jstark