About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Chapter 7 verse 1 speaks
of the day that God will restore
When the fortunes of
I believe that this means
will recognize their sins, and of course, they would have to, if she is
to truly repent. The horrific trouble suffered by
Verse 2 shows how far
As a matter of fact, God
in this verse says that the sins of Israel
are always before Him. Their
sins "engulf them". God
can't really see Israel
because of their sin. All
that He sees is sin, not them. It
makes me think of the nations of the world today.
What does God see when looking on planet earth?
He see nations or just blobs of sin that engulfs our nations.
I think He sees the sin, that is why He is ready to judge the
nations of the world. That is why He is ready to send Jesus back to
earth to end it all.
It's important to know
that God has a book, probably not a literal book, where all sins are
recorded, that is except for the sins that are covered by the blood of
Jesus. Christians will not
be judged for their sins. They
will be judged for the work of the Lord that they have done or have not
done. There is a judgment for the Christian to determine what kind of
rewards Jesus will give him.
Another particular sin
that God points out to Israel
in verse 3 is that "they delight their king with wickedness and
their princes with lies". That
seems to suggest to me that Israelis no longer have respect for their
leaders. It could be that
the Jewish leadership has done things to lose that respect.
It could also be because of the corrupt nature of the Jews
themselves. I suggest that
it is a combination of both, something that is prevalent, not only in
Verse 4 speaks of Israeli
adultery, as is one of the major themes in Hosea as well as Amos.
Again, this adultery is both literal physical adultery as well as
spiritual adultery. Israeli
men were leaving their wives for other women, including temple
Verse 5 speaks of a
certain day where the king of the northern kingdom is celebrated.
Both the king and the princes are drunk with wine.
They join together in things they should not be doing.
They join with their mockers.
This tells us how drunk these leaders got.
They were so drunk they partied with those who opposed and mocked
them. This speaks to the corruptness of the government of
In verse 6 we see such
words as "their hearts are hot as an oven".
Also, "they approach the king with intrigue".
What verses 6 and 7 suggest to me is that while being drunk, the
princes of Israel
have homosexual relations with their king.
I relate the events of
verses 6 and 7 mainly on the wording of these verses.
The word "oven" in verse 4 spoke of sexual lust, so I
suggest the same meaning should be applied to these verses.
Verse 7 says that the
king are brought down. During
the time of Hosea six kings fell in a very short time.
Most of them were murdered.
Verse 8 tells us that
Ephraim, that is the northern kingdom, "mixes with the
nations" around them, something God told them never to do.
They were to stay separate and distinct from the pagan nations of
the world because they were to represent God to these nations.
They were to be examples to other nations how to live, but they
weren't. They joined
themselves to these other pagan nations in many ways, thus losing the
distinction they were to have. Thus
they forfeited their calling as being priests to the nations of the
mixed themselves with other nations by adopting their gods, joining with
them in pagan worship, going into business with them, and marrying their
women. It did not take long
to look no different than the nations around them.
I suggest that parts of the modern church are doing the same
today. I also suggest that
the state of
Verse 8 also says that
Verse 9 states that
foreigners zap the strength of Israel. The verse uses the pronoun
"he" which is in reference to Ephraim in that last verse,
which is in reference to Israel, the northern kingdom. This
comes about with the mixture between Israel
and the other nations that surround them.
As I've just said, Israel
lost her distinctiveness by joining herself with pagan nations.
In this sense of the word "she lost her strength", her
power, her authority, and all she was meant to be.
The analogy is made of a man growing older and gray but not even
realizing it. That was the
picture of Israel, and that is the picture of parts of the Evangelical church today.
An example of this is called the
The word "him"
in verse 10 I believe refers to Ephraim, who Hosea as been talking
about. If the pronoun
"he" referred to Ephraim in the last verse, the pronoun
"him" must also refer to Ephraim.
The northern kingdom's arrogance is a testimony against
Arrogance is a sin, and it is also a national sin.
Arrogance is part of humanism, that is, pride of self, or in the
case pride of a nation. I
see arrogance as a fundamental sin that leads to other sins.
Arrogance leads one away from the Lord and to his own endeavors
and once that happens, one looks to himself instead of the Lord, causing
one to sin even more. Arrogance
is all about "self", and "self" always opposes the
things of God.
The last half of verse 10
states that he, that's Ephraim, does not return to God.
In verse 11 God calls
Ephraim (Israel) "senseless". He
is senseless because he is turning to both
This also reminds me of
what is taking place in
Verse 12 states that God
will get the northern kingdom as it reaches out to Assyria and Egypt. He uses symbolic language
concerning birds. When
Ephraim gathers herself together and flocks to Assyria and Egypt, God will cut them down, as birds would fall from the sky.
He does that with the invasion of Assyria
into the northern kingdom. The
nation Ephraim reaches out to will be the nation that does them in.
The same will happen at the end of this age.
Israel will reach out to the anti-Christ for help which he will
give in the form of a treaty, but in the long run, the anti-Christ will
deceive Israel and due her in as well.
You see God's desire in
verse 13 to redeem
Verse 14 says that the
people of the northern kingdom do not cry out to God from their hearts.
They simply wail on their beds instead.
At this point in time, the northern kingdom is experiencing the
judgment of God that should make them cry out to Him from their hearts,
but they don't. They simply
wail on their beds. They
complain and complain and complain.
We see the same in the book of Revelation at the end of this age.
People, when experiencing God's judgment don't cry out and
acknowledge Him; don't cry
out to him for help. They
simply wail, hoping that the mountains will fall on them.
Humanity seldom learns, and when they do, they learn the hard
Verse 14 also states that
Israel, that is, the northern kingdom, gather for grain and new wine.
This suggests to me that they are attempting to drown their
sorrows in partying and drunkenness.
That solves nothing. One
day you wake up from your drunken stooper and your problems still face
you right between the eyes. And
usually when you awake, you feel worse off than ever.
The last part of verse 14
states that Israel
gathers together for grain and new wine, but don't turn to their God.
This portrays the daily life of Israel. People do what they need
to do. They work, they play,
Verse 15 says that God
trained and strengthened the northern kingdom.
Long before the civil war that divided Israel
in 922 B.C., it was God who gave them the strength to become the nation
they should be. It was God
who won the wars for them that gave them the land of promise, and now,
the One who gave them the strength is the One they are rejecting.
I look at
Verse 16 closes this
chapter. God says that
they are like a "faulty bow".
The string of the bow is pulled back so the arrow can fly and
demolish their enemy, but the string breaks and the arrow falls to the
ground and thus the enemy destroys them.
They are defenseless. Assyria
just walks in and tramples the northern kingdom to the ground, and in
the eyes of Egypt, they will look stupid.
will ridicule the northern kingdom.
The same is happening today.
throughout the Bible is a symbol of the world, and in many respects the
world is ridiculing the church because the church often looks stupid and
week, and why? Because we
don't trust in our Lord as we should.
We are too humanistic in who we are and what we do.