Hosea chapter 11
Chapter eleven in this great Book of Hosea gives us a real personal and heart warming glimpse into the tender compassionate love of our heavenly Father, particularly in view of the fact that if you have studied Hosea (which means salvation) to this point, then there should be no doubt whatsoever that our Father means business concerning the chastisement of His children for their rebellion and idolatry. He warned them over and over again that unless they repented He would use the "correction rod" of the Assyrian to have them taken captive and they would be scattered among the nations. And you know what? History documents that He did exactly as He promised in His Word after their refusal to return unto Him. Therefore we KNOW from FACT that God keeps His word! His track record shows that He always has! So your faith should be increased to the level where there is no doubt that He always WILL! That means you can count on the Assyrian (the false-christ, Satan) coming and taking our people captive as sure as the sun coming up in the morning! Are you ready?
The question is, "Do you think it gives our Father any pleasure to have to chastise His children?" Remember we learned in chapter six, verse six, that all He really wants, all His heart desires, is that His children love Him and get to know Him through His Word. Hosea 6:6 "For I desired mercy [love], and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." Yes, like all loving parents who exercise Godly discipline know, it really hurts to have to severely punish your children for their disobedience! We will now read of our Father's love for his son(s).
Note: If you have a Companion Bible you will notice the structure on page 1220 outlining the "Repeated Alternation" (back and forth) contained in verses 1 through 7 which contrasts "His Love" with "Their Conduct"! Following that outline serves to enhance our understanding of our Father's feelings and compassion for His children.
THEIR INGRATITUDEHosea 11:1
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
This verse really expresses the immeasurable depth of God's love. You see, although this Book of Hosea is written concerning His plan of salvation and restoration back into one nation of all the tribes of the House of Israel, there would soon be another "Son called out of Egypt" who would provide salvation for all of God's children, "yellow, black, and white, for they are all precious in His sight."
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
The incredible thing about our Father's plan is that while His children dwell in the land of Egypt (captivity) at the same time they are protected! Isn't He amazing?
HIS LOVEHosea 11:2
As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
The more God warned them and called to His children the more they continued to sacrifice unto Baalim who could not "Bail 'em" out of the chastisement to come their way, could he?
THEIR INSENSIBILITY I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms;...
Like little toddlers He took them by their arms and taught them how to walk! He also taught them how He would deliver them (out of bondage - Egypt) and care for them (a cloud by day, pillar of fire by night) and protect them (Red Sea) and provide for them (manna from heaven). Yes, just as a parent also takes his or her little child into his arms and nurtures and cares and protects that child, this He did for Ephraim!
HIS LOVE... but they knew not that I healed them.
(Personally, I think God gives us teenagers to help us understand ingratitude and insensibility.)
WARNING of THEIR CHASTISEMENT I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
He lovingly guided them as if He were using gentle reins, easing their burdens and providing for them.
Note: The analogy used in verse 4 is that of a caring, kindly husbandman who would go to the extra trouble to loosen the bits and unharness the yoke around the necks of his paired oxen just to allow them to more freely eat the food he places before them.
And so it was written and so it was done! And so it shall be done again in the time of the end, only spiritually, not physically, this time! "Branches" are figurative for "sons". Notice the REASON for the coming sword of chastisement upon the land, "Because of their own counsels!" In other words, they lean to their own understanding and listen to their leaders and preachers who teach them the traditions of men from their own understanding (kind of like the blind leading the blind). He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
Remember Hos. 8:12? They were warned way back in the law, yet they refused to return to Him and keep His commands. Therefore the Assyrian (one of the names of Satan in Isaiah 14), shall come and take them away and be their king. (Though this happened historically, it is yet future. You see, history repeats itself so history is really prophecy, isn't it? Think about it according to 1 Cor. 10:11.)
 And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
Or you can choose to listen to your own understanding and follow the traditions of men which, by the way, are EVIL in His sight!Proverbs 14:12 & Proverbs 16:25
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
He shall lead you using those gentle reins of His love!
 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear [revere] the LORD, and depart from evil.
You might say they are "hell bent" on backsliding from Him. Why? Because of what we just read in Hos. 11:6, i.e. "because of their counsels" and their lack of understanding which accompanies relying on one's own understanding and traditions instead of seeking the knowledge of His Word. Remember Hosea 4:6? "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."Hosea 11:7
And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
It is so true that basically all our people really know about their heavenly Father is what they have been taught (counseled) by men in their churches and their catechisms. Sure many of our people go to church because they have a zeal for God, but as Paul states "not according to knowledge" (of His Word). "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2).
Isaiah says it this way.
How can they exalt Him, as we read in the last verse of Hosea, when they do not know Him? How many times have you heard it said that the Bible is just too difficult to understand?Isaiah 29:13
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear [reverence] toward me is taught by the precept of men:
People think the Bible is difficult so they go to their preachers or theology professors, i.e. the so-called learned, and ask them questions about the Word of God. Since the learned do not have the answers themselves, they take off or peer over their eyeglasses and tell the "seekers" that the Bible is full of "the mysteries of God", of many things which we cannot know. Hogwash! So a person perhaps goes elsewhere, like to a fellow "layman" (as they are called).Isaiah 29:11
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
"Hey, what are you nuts?", he says! "You have to go to seminary or a Bible College to learn God's Word! I don't have a degree!" Of course you tried those guys with the degrees and that didn't work, which brings us back to Isa. 29:13 which we quoted earlier. And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
The point is that these are God's children and although they are blind and ignorant of His Word He still loves them very much, as any parent would his or her own, right? And any loving parent can relate to the fact that it "pains" greatly to have to punish your children! But chastise them He must, BECAUSE He loves them dearly and wants them to learn the error of their ways and return to Him.
That's right, as it is written, discipline and chastisement are part of His love:
By the way, Paul did not say some new thing! It was already written:Hebrews 12:6
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
If you do not discipline your children, because it is too "tough on YOU", then you do not give them your love! "Tough love" is a difficult and painful (as in heartrending) experience more so for the one executing the love than the one receiving it! And so it is with our Father, for although they continue to backslide and commit whoredoms and wallow in idolatry, our Father is filled with compassion in His heart for His children.Proverbs 3:12
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Repentings means compassions and His "heart is turned within me" means it hurts Him very much. He so loves His children and His compassion and desire to not have to punish them is overwhelming. It is just too bad there is no other way than for "the cup of His wrath" to be poured out upon them.Hosea 11:8
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
Admah and Zeboim (look up the meaning of their names in a Bible dictionary or your Strong's Concordance) were cities in the plain surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah which were wiped out along with Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:24-25 "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground." You should know what 1 Cor. 10:11 says by now because we have quoted it numerous times in our study of Hosea. Anyway, Peter confirms what Paul said concerning the events of old being enacted as ensamples for us in these last days, in his statement about Sodom and Gomorrah: 2 Peter 2:6 "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly."
The Gibeans should have taken heed!
Ephraim's harlotry makes Him so angry He feels like wiping them all out just like He did Admah and Zeboim! And man probably would! However, our Father is always in control and He has a PLAN of Love to "save" His children and restore them back into one nation under the King of kings and Lord of lords, i.e. "One Nation Under God".Hosea 11:9
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.
Here is that restoration.
 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.
Romans 11:26 And so all Israel
shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come
out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness
Question: Does all really mean all...?As in everyone?
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