Israel’s Return to the LORD Her God

Monday, November 9, 2015

“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity” (Hosea 14:1 KJV).

Herein is history and prophecy.

Decades before the Assyrian armies invaded and deported the idolatrous northern kingdom (Israel’s 10 northern tribes), JEHOVAH God sent the Prophet Hosea to preach to Israel. While the southern kingdom (Judah) was not as wicked (yet), similar punishment would eventually come upon it (except, in that case, by Babylonian soldiers). Hosea’s ministry had a two-fold message—judgment followed by restoration. That alternation occurs throughout his 14-chapter book. Today’s Scripture begins the final prophecy—Israel’s restoration.

Today’s Scripture says judgment has already fallen on Israel as a whole (both kingdoms). They have forsaken the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They have worshipped and served idols and the one true God has had enough. He will have no more mercy on them, they are not His people, and He will not be their God (Hosea 1:6-9). Having lost their Jewish monarchy and their Promised Land, they are now captive in foreign countries under Gentile control. Today’s Scripture is Hosea encouraging His nation to return to JEHOVAH. Succeeding verses explain.

“[2] Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. [3] Asshur [Assyria] shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”

In Matthew chapter 3, during John the Baptist’s ministry, Israel, still under that fifth course of judgment (dispersion), had a believing remnant that confessed their sins and were water baptized. They were ready to be God’s people. But, that program was delayed. Yet future, after our dispensation, Israel’s believing remnant—currently blinded in our dispensation—will return to JEHOVAH God, preparing for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming and subsequent earthly kingdom. The so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” Matthew 6:9-13, is their confession. When believing Israel cries out to God, He hears and answers. Read Hosea 14:4-9 and Hosea 1:10,11. Literally, by God’s grace, Israel will be received, redeemed, and restored (Romans 11:25-29)!

The LORD’S Great Love for Israel

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine [grape/raisin cakes]” (Hosea 3:1 KJV).

JEHOVAH commissions the Prophet Hosea to live out his message so the children of Israel can see His great love for them!

From Hosea’s perspective, the Jews’ Assyrian and Babylonian captivities are approaching, JEHOVAH’S response to their centuries of idolatry (Leviticus 26:28-39). With a broken heart, He must now rid His Holy Land of the nation Israel, and send them away to foreign lands. His people have not honored His Word but rather have trampled it under foot. They do not believe His Word to them: they have willfully abandoned His Covenant of Law. They have defiled His land with their child sacrifices, violence, injustice, and idols of wood and stone. Like a wife cheating on her husband, the houses of Israel and Judah have been so unfaithful to the God who delivered them from Egyptian, satanic, and sin’s bondage. They have ignored Him and worshipped dead idols!

In chapter 1, God instructed Hosea to marry Gomer. It is soon apparent that she is a prostitute, for, after giving birth to Hosea’s first child, Gomer delivers two children whose paternal origin is unclear. In the context of today’s Scripture, Gomer has since left Hosea and is now prostituting on the streets. Hosea is instructed of God to purchase Gomer back, and God orders him to love Gomer in the same manner He loves adulterous Israel. The children of Israel are to see Hosea’s life and learn the doctrine being communicated.

From our perspective, JEHOVAH—some seven centuries after Hosea—shed His blood on Calvary’s cross to—beyond our day—redeem Israel, buy her back from her satanic and idolatrous captivity, forgive and cleanse her, and despite her infidelity, re-marry her and return her to her Promised Land forever (Hosea 2:14-23). The Apostle Paul affirms that Hosea’s prophecy—Israel’s restoration and redemption—will occur after our program ends (Romans 11:15-36). Saints, what a loving God we serve!

Our latest Bible Q&A’s: “Who will accompany Jesus at His Second Coming?” and “When will the Old Testament saints be resurrected?

Unappreciative Apostates

Sunday, July 20, 2014

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images” (Hosea 11:1,2 KJV).

Israel is not the only nation in history to abandon the one true God….

I recently read that, according to one poll, 10 percent of Americans read their Bible daily. While this is most assuredly not shocking (we know the reason for the rapid moral decay!), it is a troubling reality. The first book ever printed here in the United States was the Bay Psalm Book, the Bible’s book of Psalms in English (printed in 1640). Now, the Bible is the least of most Americans’ daily concern!

A nation once known for its Bible missionaries, Bible-teaching universities, and Bible-supporting legal system, now has “better” things to offer the world than Jesus Christ—“education” and entertainment. Just as sure as Israel rose for God’s glory, and fell when she abandoned Him, so our great American nation will surely fall in due time (yea, the current deterioration is just a precursor!). We should truly thank God that, unlike Israel of old, we live in this the Dispensation of Grace, and His grace is temporarily withholding that wrath (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)!

Today’s Scripture is JEHOVAH’S testimony through the Prophet Hosea about how much Israel’s God loved her. He had rescued her so miraculously from Egyptian bondage, that she would forever serve Him in the land that He had given her forefathers. Israel was to be God’s “son,” a nation of people who would not only know God’s will, but who would also delight in accomplishing it with Him; out of the riches of His grace, He would bless them immeasurably, spiritually and materially. Yet, Israel refused; they did not want God’s love, God’s commandments, God’s will. Instead, Israel became a spiritual prostitute, worshipping and serving pagan idols, their own will. (Sound familiar?) Not too long after Hosea preached, the Assyrians and Babylonians took Israel away!

Yea, Israel’s history confirms, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).