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

Jeremiah – Chapter 23

Little is new to this chapter of Jeremiah. God once again requests that Jeremiah go to the King of Judah and restate and remind them of God’s promises but only IFif the Judeans and leadership of Judah follow God’s commandments. There is a bit of “new look” in that God refers to the leadership of the Kingdom of Judah, both secular and religious, as shepherds. But according to the claim of in verse one, how have these Judean leaders scattered them and driven them away?

This is a two-fold answer:

lost sheepFirst: By them not being an example unto God, the sheep have followed in the examples set and taught by of their so-called leadership. They even have hired false prophets who claim ‘all is well.’ After all they claim, “we have the Temple” is what they stand behind so we (Kingdom of Judah) are protected even if God isn’t front and center in their individual lives. They saw their northern cousins in the Kingdom of Israel carried away 120 years earlier and nothing has happened to ‘good ol’ God protected Teflon’ Judah for decades.  Conclusion? They must be blessed.

In the short of it, Judean leadership has chased its people away from worshiping and depending on the one true God of Israel.

Second: The religious and ruling sectors of Judah have been cruel to the poor, taken advantage of them for personal gain, lied to them, given them false prophetic hope, and slanted the judicial system to the advantage of the ruling class. Jeremiah 23:2c states, (ESV) “Behold, I (have yet to) will attend to your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” They are going to get their deserved punishment and it comes with God’s promise attached to it.

Jeremiah 23:3 jumps to a prophecy yet to be fulfilled and only will be fulfilled after the Tribulation. God will re-gather his people (sheep) scattered throughout the globe and eventually bring them home to a much larger and totally safe Israel (Zion/Jerusalem). A fascinating little comment in verse 4… “ánd none will be missing.” Any question left with this comment that NONE will be missing? Since verse 6 says the *one that will be raised up to execute a future and prophesied justice, fairness, righteousness, and rule with wisdom is named “The LORD is our righteousness.” There is only one who can fit this bill; i.e. Jesus.

*It is in his day JUDAH and ISRAEL will be saved [23:6a).

In HIS day… This is at the 2nd advent of Christ. NOTE: This verse declares that the divided nation of old Israel; Kingdoms to the north and the south, will be united in Israel (Judah and Israel) when Christ returns to the Mount of Olives and calls or brings them back to their promised land.

Jeremiah 23: 11-15 is another example of “if you (us) ____, then I (God) will _____.” God points out the injustice in Judah and then explains to Jeremiah the consequence of such a life style. Even the false prophets are accused of prophesying in the name of Baal. These prophets are so arrogant they no longer even claim to be prophets of God Jehovah; any god will be fine as a so-called prophet. However, one must still keep going back to the promise to Israel (not the church) in verse 8:

[CEV] “…instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from the land in the north and from all the other countries where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land.”  This verse does suggest that we are talking about an Israel after-the-fact of the Tribulation.

In a very real sense, but cannot be proven with scripture, this is possibly similar to the Promised Land for the church of real believers. We will once again live in a Garden of Eden. This is not the actual promise but it is symbolic enough to put our faith and trust in Jesus so we get to the Promised Land as believers.

Jeremiah 23:17 is very similar to today: False declarations and promises by false ministers within shallow denominations. Today’s church tends to be a mile wide and only 1” deep in the Word of God and understanding. We see banners and signs in churches and billboards that read, “God is Love.” There is nothing wrong with this statement as it is true, but only tells us of half the truth. It is what is left out by these half true statements that we discover in the last sentence of v17. According to their false prophets and many ministers today is the claim that  “The Lord has promised that everything will be fine” (CEV). What is missing is the fact that God is also a JUST GOD; Revelation 20:11-13. So, what was true of false prophesy back then is inadvertently still true today. Yes, God is love, but he is also a just God. If this is not so, then why is there any reason for a final judgment; Bema Seat or Great White Throne? We have false proclamations in the very churches we attend.

Jer 23:20  The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

Do you catch the meaning of this verse and the last sentence? In the latter days YOU will understand it clearly. This does suggest a scenario of after the fact of the Tribulation. It also may suggest the gained knowledge is too late and the life God gave us is now on trial.

Verse 22 is very similar to what is going out from shallow preaching of the Word of God. It reads…Jer 23:20  But if *they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.  *Who is the THEY in this verse? This is any who give out false doctrine and promises of anything God has not ordained as solid truth. Sadly and so true, those who wish to tickle the ears of their congregations fall into this same truth. They preach what sounds politically correct and not from what Ephesians 5:13 states; i.e. being a light that reveals evil; i.e. expose it, not to try and learn tolerance.

23:28b is like a summary of the above frustration of God. It asks in part…”What has straw in common with wheat declares the LORD?” Many people if not most can tell the difference between straw, hay and wheat. In a way they look similar but the difference is in its value. Wheat has a nutritional value to all; humans and animals alike. Straw fills the belly but has no food value. One can and will die of starvation even if his or her stomach is full (of straw). The straw here is the false doctrine preached via the prophets and today’s empty message sermons.

Jeremiah 23:30 is another warning too often missed by the reader and sometimes the teacher/preacher. There are two thoughts that come from this verse; the obvious and the more subtle. Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. The obvious is limited to the prophets. They sing off the same song sheet without regard to its truth. Just like we today sing songs in church declaring our faithfulness, worship and/or faith, but only sing the words without applying or intending to apply what the words say. We quote the Lord’s Prayer but don’t live the words we are reciting. Similar to today’s political battle grounds where so-called reporters say the same thing as if they have, and they have, mutually agreed upon.

The second thought is those who steal God’s words then spin them to fit motives, agendas, and political correctness.Truth Text Red Black Burst

So, in conclusion, what do we do about all of this? The answer is given to us in Jeremiah 23:33.

“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,…”

We may find this appalling; violating every rule of political correctness by being so honest. But then, why do we need to say this exposing evil? Simple, the truth shall set us free – John 8:32.

miniJimDr. JStark

June, 2017