About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Verse 1 tells us that as
In verses 1 and 2 we note
stones", most all religions back then, including Judaism, had
stones or something similar to dise.
The rolling of these stones would help determine the will of the
gods, or, in
Verse 3 states that Israel
will acknowledge that they have no king because they failed to revere
the Lord their God. They
will soon have no king because the Assyrian army will come and take away
their kingdom and their king. It
will be too late then. Israel
will have already gone into exile. They
will have already lost their nationhood for good.
They will have no king and they will realize why.
That's a sad thought.
The last half of verse 3
is very true. Israel
will acknowledge that after she goes into exile, that even if she had a
king, it would do them no good. The
reason why it would do them no good is because they don't have a kingdom
for a king to rule over. Besides,
it's too late. God's
judgment cannot be reversed. Even
if they had a king, that king would not be blessed of the Lord.
That being said, the
reason why the king would not be any good is stated in verse 4.
Israeli kings had become corrupt.
The text says that "they make promises", implying that
they make the promises, only to break them after making them. Now
there's a picture of our leaders today.
The verse goes on to say that the king makes oaths and
agreements, but again, this implies that they break the oaths and
agreements. Besides, some of
these agreements were made with the pagan nations that they were not to
make agreements with.
As a result of this,
verse 4 also states that lawsuits will arise like poisonous weeds in a
plowed field. Now that
certainly sounds like our world today.
Things never change.
Verse 5 tells us how much
in love Israelis were with their Baal idols.
They feared for the safety of these idols once in exile.
They mourned and cried over their destruction.
How sad, that God's people would be so attached to paganism that
they would cry when these pagan idols were demolished.
Verse 6 tells us that the
idol of Beth Aven, otherwise known as
Verse 7 creates a clear
mental picture of the future of the northern kingdom of Israel. Something many children
and even adults have done is to throw a stick into a river.
The stick floats down the river to a point where you see it no
more. This is what happens
to the northern kingdom. It
just floats down the river of history until you see it no more, and that
is exactly what happened.
Verse 8 says that the
high places of wickedness will be destroyed.
These high places refer to the mountains of
Verse 8 speaks of a time
when Israeli's would actually tell these mountains on which they
worshipped to fall on them and cover them over.
They'll just want to die. That
is probably how they felt when the Assyrians came and wiped them out.
This reminds me of those in the book of Revelation who cry out
for the same thing. Things will get so bad in the tribulation of the
last days that people will want the mountains to fall on them and kill
As in the last chapter,
we see the city of
Note the words "when
I please, I will punish them" in verse 10.
When "it pleases God, He will punish".
It's not that God takes pleasure in punishing anyone.
He doesn't. The point
is simple. Whenever God
wants to punish, He will. The
timing is all up to Him. He
Verse 10 says that
"nations will be gathered against them".
This might be, and I say "might be" in reference to the
final war against Israel
in the last days. I say this because of the use of the word
"nations'. It was only
Assyria who attacked Israel
back then – just one nation. At
the end of this age, all nations will attack Israel. I say "this might
be" what this verse is speaking of because I think we should be
careful not to attribute everything in the prophetic writings to the end
of this age. It is the
tendency for some to do this.
Verse 11 is a bit hard to
understand. This is my take
on the verse at the moment. God
says that He will put a yoke on Ephraim, that's the northern kingdom,
and Judah, the southern kingdom will plow. That
is to say, the northern kingdom will become the servant to the south.
In one sense of the word that is what happened.
The north went into exile and never returned from that exile.
The south also went into exile in Babylon
but the south did return. It
is from these returnees that Israelis survived to this very day.
Those Israelis from the north that would survive would have had
to relocate to the south, and many did.
Verse 12 states a
Biblical principle. Actually,
it's a universal principle. "What
you plant you will reap". Even
though it is too late for the northern kingdom to start planting
righteously which would mean they would reap a righteous reward from
God, God tells the Israelis to do just that.
So, I believe this verse is directed to Israelis of the future.
God is telling them to start living righteously so He can in turn
reward their righteousness, which He will eventually do at the end of
this present age in which we live.
Breaking up the
"unplowed ground" is a direct reference to the hard
Verse 13 begins with,
"but you have planted wickedness…".
The word "but" tells us that what God just told Israel
to do, that is, plow up the field and plant righteousness, they didn't
do that. They planted
wickedness instead. One way
in which the northern kingdom did this as seen in this verse was that
they depended on themselves, their own strength, not the Lord's
strength. This is pure
humanism. The western world
is in the same situation today that
Verse 14 tells us that
Note the reference to
"Shalman" in verse 14. Scholars
are divided on jus who or what this is.
It could be in reference to an Assyrian king named Shalmanezer
the fifth, a king of Assyria.
The seriousness of God's
judgment is seen in verse 14. It's
just not the men, the army of
The chapter ends with
verse 15 saying that the king of