God’s Love for Israel
Verse 1 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.
In the final four chapters, Hosea shifts to the theme of God’s love for His beloved people. Because God’s love is so intense, He would not let Israel escape discipline.
Verse 2 – As they called them, so they went from them; they sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to carved images.
Verse 3 – “I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them.
Verse 4 – I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.
God brought Israel up the way a parent does a child, step by step, holding their hand. He fed them, guided them, and gave them shelter, and placed Godly men in their midst to instruct them.
Verse 5 – “He shall not return to the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refuse to repent.
The northern kingdom only survived two hundred years after the split from Jerusalem. They refused to repent, so God used the Assyrians to capture them in 722 B.C.
Verse 6 – And the sword shall slash in his cities, devour his districts, and consume them, because of their own counsels.
Verse 7 – My people are bent on backsliding from Me, though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him.
Verse 8 – “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred.
Admah and Zeboiim were cities near Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 10:19). God destroyed these two cities when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Just because punishment or judgment is not immediate, doesn’t mean that it wont’ come.
Verse 9 – I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, the Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror.
God’s ways are not like our ways, nor His thoughts like ours. Hosea is telling them that they won’t be completely annihilated, but a remnant will come out of Judah.
Verse 10 – “They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
Verse 11 – They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt, like a dove from the land of Assyria. And I will let them dwell in their houses,” says the Lord.
Verse 12 – “Ephraim has encompassed Me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah still walks with God, even with the Holy One who is faithful.
We know from reading Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, that Judah ended up doing the same sins as Israel did. However, at this stage, Hosea reminded them that Judah had good kings up until they didn’t. Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham and especially Hezekiah and Josiah. Under some of these kings God’s law was taught to the people. Unfortunately, these kings were unable to completely wipe out the idol worship. Still the good kings enabled Judah to survive 150 Years longer than Israel.