About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Lord Is Angry Against Israel
(ch. 13:1 - 16)
Verse 1 says that
"when Ephraim spoke men trembled".
All along I've been saying, as is normally the case, when you see
Ephraim mentioned in Hosea, and in Amos as well, that is the northern
We see that Ephraim was
exalted over the3 other ten tribes of the north, but that has become a
thing of the past since she gave herself to Baal worship.
So, it doesn't matter how great one is, how exalted one is, if
you forsake the Lord, then you will fall.
This has happened not only with Ephraim, but with other nations
and also with parts of the church.
In verse 2 we see highly
skilled craftsmen creating masterpieces for worship.
I suggest that in our modern times, we do the same. We've created
great high tech masterpieces that we have given ourselves to.
We don't call it worship, but in one sense of the word it is.
Note also the words
"human sacrifices" in verse 2 .
This is how bad the northern kingdom actually got.
They were so far removed from the Lord they thought giving human
sacrifices was God's will. This
makes me think of Islamic extremists today
who believe suicide bombing will gain the credits from Allah.
Suicide bombing is actually one form of human sacrifices.
Israel's literally kissed their calf-idols.
They placed their lips against idols made by their own hands as
if these idols were human. How
Verse 3 simply states the
fleeting nature of the northern kingdom.
They are like smoke that just drifts away.
Today they are here, tomorrow they are gone.
As in the last chapter,
verse 4 shows us how God feels about the northern kingdom.
His heart goes out to these Israeli's.
He says, "I am the Lord, your God'.
In other words, "I am Yahweh, your God", the God that
delivered you from Egypt. Again, God is reminiscing of days past.
Remembering the past does not seem to be an easy thing for God,
because what Israel
now is, is not what she once was.
Also in verse 4 we
basically see the first of the ten commandments restated.
"You shall have no other God but me", but they do.
They have Baal. God
goes on to say that He is their only Saviour.
He saved them from Egypt. He saved them through the
desert wanderings. He saved
them in battle when they first entered the promised land of
In verses 5 and 6 we see
a real truth. God led Israel
in the desert. He looked
after them. He fed them and
they were satisfied, and in their time of satisfaction, they became
proud. How true that was
and how true it is with us and our western nations.
God blesses us and in the satisfaction of these blessings, we get
proud, thinking the blessings came from us.
This is truly a picture of western civilization today.
In verses 7 and 8 God
pictures Himself as a lion, a leopard, and a bear, who will totally
devour and destroy Israel. I've said it before, but
whatever God does, He does it to the fullest.
He is extreme, and that is certainly seen here.
The text says that He will "rip Israel
Verse 9 says that God
will destroy Israel
is against Him, their one and only helper.
The message that Hosea was speaking to the northern tribe did not
go over well. The same is
true for the prophets today. This
book of Hosea, as well as the book of Amos, is very relevant to our
present world. We should be
preaching from this book and warning both the church and the nations in
which we live of coming judgment.
In verse 10 God asks
"where are you kings … where are you rulers, of whom you said,
'give me a king.." We
must remember that it was Israel's choice to have a king. They
wanted a king. That was not
God's idea in the beginning. God
In verse 11 we see a
great truth of Scripture. God
a king, then He took the king away from them.
This is yet another passage that clearly tells us that God causes
nations, and government leaders to both rise and to fall.
Note that God gave Israel
their king in anger. It was
not His idea.
Verse 12 also states
another truth of Scripture, and that is, God keeps a record of sin.
He does so not only on an individual level, but on a national
level as this verse states. God
kept a record of Ephraim's sin. He still keeps records of national sins.
For those who have given their lives to Jesus, we should be
greatly thankful that He no longer keeps a record of our sins.
They are covered with the blood of Jesus.
Verse 13 compares the
future of the northern kingdom to a woman giving birth to a dead baby.
The north will experience great pain, just as much pain as a
woman giving birth. The big
difference though is that there is no life from this pain.
There is only death, as in a still birth.
This chapter, like the
last, shows God's feelings. He
vacillates between love and wrath, between destruction and restoration.
In verse 14 He says that He "will ransom them from the grave
and redeem them from death". This
is clearly speaking of the future restoration of
The last half of the
verse is quoted by Paul in 1
Corinthians 15:55. Death and
the grave will have no power over those who give themselves to the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is Yahweh.
In the past phrase of
verse 14 and the first phrase of verse 15 we see the swing of emotions
again. God is now speaking
of judgment once again. Back
and forth it goes. He loves Israel, but He must destroy her. The verse says that "an east wind from
the Lord will come'. This
east wind is a direct reference to
This chapter ends with a
horrible portrayal of what will happen to Samaria. She is that part of the northern kingdom that is in the south part of the
kingdom. Destruction will
come so severely that children will be killed, cut to the ground.
Pregnant women will be ripped open".
This is a "R" rated verse, but again, God is extreme in
anything He does. His love
is extreme and His wrath is extreme.
You can certainly see that here.