A Promise of Redemption
In all the aftermath and the ups and downs of the Northern Nation of Israel, and their eviction notice, God still remembers his promises made to all of Jacob’s House. He has a renewed heart for Ephraim, remembering the birthright promises handed down and where they were entrusted. Even though Judah had their ups and downs as well, and an exile experience, they were not lost to the Lord. A promise was made of their return to Jerusalem, there was no divorce decree made with the southern nation like there was with the northern nation.
In spite of it all the House of Judah remained faithful as much as they could, and the Lord needed King David’s house to go on to fulfill the promise made to him that there will always be a descendant of David on his throne of until the promised one comes.
Through some turn of events, the House of David remained till King Zedikiah’s reign. Then something happened that seemed the promise of the Lord to King David house came to a end, a promised line was broken, no more seed of David left as a birthright firstborn heir to the throne, so it may seem.
Even though I gave a little history of the Southern Nation here, this part of the study is going focus on the Northern Nation
God Keep’s the fires of His Promise Burning
It would seem that their was nothing left to hold onto regarding the Northern Nation of Israel; a divorce decree, being slaughtered and a remnant being scattered to other nations to never return. The Lord remember’s the good, His cup is always more than half full, love always finds a way.
The Prophets of the North
Keep in mind that the Lord did send specific prophets to the northern nation to warn, direct and offer restoration, some southern prophets, such as Jeremiah of the southern nation made mention of restoration of the North through Ephraim, as the House of Israel.
In the Book of Hosea as a northern nation prophet, modeled his life by likening his relationship with his wife as the Lord’s relationship with Israel, he went out and married a whore.
By likening his wife with the one the Lord has, after divorcing his wife for her harlotry and having a change of heart, He eventually sought her out to come back to his home and her children. Did she return? Maybe.
Yes, the Lord does create visual image presentations to make a statement to the people through his prophets, this was the Lords way of making a presentation to the people. He didn’t have the technology of powerpoint today, so he makes due with his presenters. Jeremiah made these presentations images to the Southern tribe as well, following after Isaiah footsteps.
The Book of Hosea may have seem to never give Israel an opportunity to turn from their sins and turn to the Lord, In my study of it, it seems that some events already transpired when he wrote it. He also may rehashed some of the Lord’s messages from other messengers.
It seems that the Lord was pretty much done with the people. However Hosea does give a redemption plan of future hope.
His writing style is close to all the other prophets, he shows them what they have done and how the Lord addresses their actions in the beginning of the book, goes into details about their actions and then offers a way out. And then they finishes the book a beautiful letter of hope at the end.
God’s people need’s some visuals
Slide presentation number one;
Marry a whore? Why not. The Lord was married to one. I’m sure they were in plentiful supply in the region. Especially in the fertility places of Asherah & Ba’al.
Ba’al was the go to god of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.
The straw that broke the camel’s back
Slide Presentation #2
The name Jezreel literally translates, God will scatter as a sower scattering seed in the field. This is a good analogy because this is what the Lord eventually does to the House of Israel. We will find out more on this narrative later.
A Palace with view and a herb garden
In the history of the House of Abraham, the parents would often name their child from their joy of the time or their anxieties. This time Hosea name the kids after the Lord’s anxieties with the House of Israel.
Hosea’s firstborn son was called Jezreel, after the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu.
The blood here was represented by Jaboth the Jerzreelite, the inheritor of a family partial of land in Jezreel that was coveted by Jezebel for her husband King Ahab. 1 King 21:1-24.
Under Jezebels manipulation, referenced as the sin of witchcraft, 2 Kings 9:21-34; brought false blasphemy charges against Jaboth, by bringing the sons of Belial as false witness before the elders and nobles in the area. The king had him killed, and the parcel of land was taken by the king for the scenic view of the king’s estate herb garden.
The fiendish duo was taken care of by Jehu, the son of King Jehoshaphat, Elisha anointed Jehu King, he brutally and utterly destroyed the House of Omri, Ahab’s father, including Ahab and all of his 70 sons. 2 Kings 9:21-34.
The Jezreel Valley was a beautiful valley that the Royal Snow Birds of Samaria would go to in the winter time. To plant their herb gardens especially. Pardon the pun. This place was also a military strategy point, some say because of the desirableness of the region for agriculture was the focus of their enemy’s attention as well.
When taking the 1st and 2nd Kings and Hosea passages it seem that their is dilemma of the Lord punishing Jehu for what he has done right before God’s eyes, for killing King Ahab and having Jezebel thrown out the window, and the prophets of Ba’al slaughtered, Even though Jehu did what was right, the eventual fall of his line will happen as they did with King Ahab line. This bloodshed in Jezreel will have implications on Jehu’s house as well, since the Lord predetermined the ousting of House of Israel.
Jehu was to be given the kingship and a promise to his house, they shall reign up to four generations, however this was cut short because of his golden calf worship and leaving the Asherah poles in place. It seems as well that the Lord transferred the slaying of all of the house of Ahab and the King Ahaziah of Judah during this campaign, however it may have seemed the Lord turned his victory into blood guilt because of his own idolatry.
No pity, no mercy
Slide Presentation #3
Another child was born, her name was Lo-ruhamah, “no compassion” or “unpitied”. What a thing to call your child. Well, it’s the Lord’s presentation.
God is exhausted, per-say, of cleaning up their mess, saving their tails, and getting no gratitude for all He’s done in return, just more heartache.
However this is where the Lord makes his distinction between the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Israel gets the eviction notice, while Judah for a time gets a stay order on good behavior, right?
During the time of the Assyrian onslaught of Israel, God spares Judah by his hand, with out military forces. This was already covered previously.
Slide Presentation #3
Hosea has another son named him Lo-ammi, “not my people”. If it seems that the people of Israel were behaving like foreigners to God in their own land, then they will be foreigners in someone else’s land and maybe they will feel more at home. They shunned Him, He will in turn shun them as a people.
You can really see how the Lord’s heart was breaking in His verdicts, or name calling you might say. Because I remember your treachery in Jezreel, your lack of pity and mercy, you have forgotten the ways of your God, the Lord will show you no compassion or mercy and turn you over to dwell with your own gods in a land not your own because you are not his people. The Lord will scatter them in a land that they do not know.
Sounds like, because of the injustice shown in Jezreel, then justice will be served in like. What goes around comes around. They shall reap what they have sown.
Its amazing how the Lord had me go with this, it was unexpected.
Come back my love
A new covenant in the making
Now it seems that the Lord remembers His promises to both houses and makes a redemption plan for the House of Israel.
Hosea 2:1; “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah”.
This seems that the two siblings gets a name change, the Lord takes back the “Lo” from the children names and takes back His whoring wife.
As mentioned in chapter one, the Lord has had Hosea name his children after the Lord’s anxieties with the people of Israel. Now in chapter two He drops the “No”, from Ammi & Ruhamah’s name, now He will remember them as His people and has compassion on them, & will scatter them by sowing them in what’s now called the new Jezreel, or in other nations. To fulfill the promise made to Abraham that his seed will be innumerable as the sands of the see and the stars in the heavens.
Hosea 2:1-13, summery in a nut shell;
Kid’s go find your mother the whore. She has not been a wife to me, and I can no longer be a husband to her. Ask her to come back to her home. Tell her, your lovers will eventually forsake you. She is better off with Me than with them. Turn your back to the lovers of your past. I will spare you from the same heart ache you once given me. I will make your paths difficult until it leads you back to me.
When we look at the wife of the house of the king we look at the mother of children, when we look at the children we look at the fruit that came from the relationship as the children of Israel. Trust this makes sense. The will people follow the leader, even if they take them over a cliff.
The valley of Achor(or pain), a wilderness between the tribe of Benjamin and Judah also close to Jericho, this is to be considered as figurative in the wilderness Israel was sent into, from pain will be an entrance into hope, of plenty, of song and comfort.
I love the prophets play on words here, Ishi means Husbandman and Baali a common name of Baal or a master of another kind. His relationship with Israel will become as a husbandman and no longer as a task master.
A new day is coming when the Lord will break a new covenant with the Lost Nation of Israel during this wilderness exile. He will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land under their feet(earth). I don’t look at this as the 2nd advent as I have seen some claim. This message was for the nation of Israel and not Judah. The Lord will make a place of safety for the exiled people. They will go out and find new lives and protections elsewhere. This battle that which brought about the exile will come to an end.
Betroth thee unto me forever: ’āraś: Hebrew for pledge of marriage; ‘ôlām: Forever; for a extended period of time, involving many generations.
If Forever is used as without end, then I wouldn’t think the bride would find it fare and reasonable to be promised to some one without a fulfillment of a completion of a promise in sight.
Keep in mind that Jezreel was a place of agriculture and military in Israel, planting and harvesting all year long, even for kings herb gardens. The use of this word is the Lord sowing of the people of Israel throughout the earth, not the area of land in Jezreel but the other nations outside of land of Israel where the people were sown into. As the Lord said, “I will sow her into all the earth, and they will be my people and I will have mercy on them”. There was much time transpiring between the exile of the Nation of Israel and the betrothal and the coming of the husbandman, even many more generations until the marriage supper.
Remember that, what happens in Israel stays with Israel and not in Judah.
I want my whore back?
Slide Presentation #4
Hosea 3: summery;
First of all I would like to point out that chapter three may be a different woman of the evening than the one he married. Now before we get all sanctimonious and pious, Hosea’s price for his harlot was much more than the one Judah’s was thinking he was getting. Judah’s fiasco was for a quickie and Hosea’s was for a period to time. Both was for a purpose ordained of the Lord. Take a deep breath and let it sink in.
Folks, this is bible.
The Lord told Hosea even the price and her duration of stay. With a stipulation that she remains faithful for the duration.
The Lord was likening this relationship to the one He had with the Nation of Israel.
In summery, the Lord was going to reconcile with his unfaithful bride, and giving her a time to make amends with her faithfulness.
In my own personal view: The first unfaithful wife of the previous marriage, was divorced and sent on her way, she didn’t want to come back to her husband and children. This new prostitute represents, the exiled people of whoredoms as the new bride, a new Covenant is in the works, as long as the relationship doesn’t go sour, you might say.
For a season of many days or many years, Israel will be without a king, a prince and with out any sacrifices, and with out an image, with out an ephod, and teraphim.
An Image; maṣṣēḇāh: meaning a standing upright block of unhewn stone, such as the one Jacob used as a headrest. This stone was also called the stone of destiny or the “lia fail”, Jacob set up this stone as a monument of witness of the promise of the Lord to Jacob when the Lord changed his name to Israel, Jacob dedicated this stone as Yahweh’s House. Where this stone ended up was in the House of the Lord, and where it ended up after the fall of the nation of Judah, will be covered later and will play an important part of the second advent. This stone is not in Judah’s or the New Israel’s hands. It’s in another Nations hands.
An Ephod; ’ēp̱ōḏ: a garment with 12 semiprecious stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Worn by a priest before God in the Holy of Holies.
teraphim; terāp̱iym: meaning household gods.
Could all these objects been used in the pagan ritual aspects of worship in the Nation of Israel, not necessarily the actual objects that lay in the House of the Lord in Jerusalem. However They will be with out the sacred temple items including their idols and sacrifices for a specified time.
Ignoring the problem and a re-enforced lesson plan
Some say ignorance is bliss, however when you know the truth and choose ignore it and not follow it, I believe their will be greater ramifications from the Lord. The Lord has a way of redirecting our steps, even if we stumble around getting their.
In the following chapters 4-13 talks much about the sins that got the Nation of Israel in the sad state that they found themselves in. Also talks of Ephriam running to Judah for help and finding safety in Egypt during the Assyrian onslaught.
The book of Hosea was specifically for the Northern Nation of Israel, the prophet started out giving us God visual presentations through his prophet. A unfaithful bride as the governing factions of the nation of Israel, finding fault in the whole with the few governing the nation. The people will pay a hefty price for the leaders poor integrity.
The message also talks about being joined back to the Southern Nation of Judah.
The following chapters goes into depth of their sins. Remember that the straw that broke the camels back was the actions of Ahab & Jezebel’s actions towards Jaboth the Jezreelite. This sets the premise of this book and this action weaves it’s way through the entire context of the writing.
This book ends with a beautiful redemption plan for the Northern Nation of Israel, House of Joseph through Ephraim, in chapter 14.
The Lord’s love letter to the Hope of Israel
In Jeremiah chapter 31 goes into detail of the lost house of Israel’s redemption plan. Remember that Jeremiah’s time was over 80 years from the exile of Israel. Isaiah was the prophet during that time. Jeremiah was prophesying about a future time and not a present time concerning Israel. Lets not confuse what was happening in Judah with this passage.
I have done this part of the study previously in the Ephraim first born studies of my blog.
I will do some review of Jeremiah chapter 31 with this study as a part of the redemption plan of the House of Israel.
1. At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Addressing all 13 tribes.
2. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
As was covered in Hosea 2:18, this exile wilderness experience they will find a new covenant, no more war against them as Israel, they will lie down in safety.
3. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
They have been drawn by His lovingkindness into this new place.
4. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
5. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.
Summery: Those who spared from the sword has found grace with God, He will bring them back to the life they once knew. She will be known as a untouched bride, betrothed to their Lord. They shall bring produce from the Mounts of Samaria, once was the Capital of Israel’s lost 10 tribes. Samaria definition is, “A place of Watch Keeping”.
6. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
The watchman – known as strength or protector, this has been referenced in other passages concerning the Tribe of Ephraim.
Mount Ephraim – Tribe of Ephraim’s settlement. the northern nation.
Zion – a mountain of God. Not necessarily the temple mount but could also be Mount Herman, which was the backdrop of Jesus’s ministry. Also known as Jerusalem.
Arise ye – literally arise from your slumber.
7. For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save — thy people, — the remnant of Israel.
The redemption plan of this lost nation has been set forth.
8. Behold, I will bring — them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
9. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim — is my firstborn.
10. Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say,
Faraway places being islands of the west.
11. He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
For the LORD hath redeemed — Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
Keep in mind that Jesus’s linage with King David was along a different rout with both Mary and Joseph. Jesus’s linage came from Mary. Matthew covers Joseph’s linage back to David, So Luke does Mary’s lineage back to Adam. However you look at it, linage is covered.
The Lord keeps His promises to King David.
Part 4 of this study will be, “We are redeemed”.