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.
“ 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.  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)!