In verses 1-3, Hosea was prophesying that the bulk of the ten tribes would be taken as captives to Assyria, and some would flee to Egypt, where they would be ferreted out and punished. This was the literal, or natural, lesson. In addition, there is the spiritual lesson of the professed Church of Christ going astray into Papacy and the ways of the world. Paganism came into the Church and defiled it. In antitype, the more numerous ten-tribe kingdom pictures Catholicism; the two-tribe kingdom represents Protestantism.
Posts Tagged ‘ Catholicism ’
With natural Israel, the “former rain” refers to their earlier period of favor. Israel had prophets, the Law, the Tabernacle, the Temple of Solomon, etc. The early rain ended with the Diaspora, the great gulf fixed between the Jews and God, as shown in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Now the dry bones (Ezekiel 37) are beginning to come together. Sinews (organizations) are attached to the bones, and flesh has even appeared on the body state of Israel. However, from God’s standpoint, the breath of life has not yet entered Israel.
Not until Jacob’s Trouble will that happen—when the nation of Israel will stand on its feet in a real way. When God fights for Israel as He did in days of old, that will be like an awakening from the dead (Zech. 14:3). There will be a mighty shaking and a resurrection, as it were, both figuratively and literally (the Ancient Worthies).
Verse 5 is like saying to the Holy Remnant that the hopeless condition both the ten- and the two-tribe kingdoms were in necessitated the Lord’s turning His face from Israel for a long period of time so that they would get the lesson. In the past, through the prophets, God warned of the sinful condition, but Ephraim and Judah turned a deaf ear to the need for repentance. God “cut … [them] in pieces with the prophets” (NIV). It is as if at this end of the age, God is explaining about the warnings given to the ten- and the two-tribe kingdoms before they got so corrupt, and then, when they were in an unfit condition, what the necessary steps of repentance were. Because the warnings were ignored, judgment was necessary. Hewing the nation by the mouth of the prophets sounds like Jeremiah’s ministry.
“Judgment is toward you,” or as stated in the RSV, “The judgment pertains to you.” This part of verse 1 is a play on words, for in exercising their judgment, the people were found wanting and guilty—priests, judges, people, and king. (Much of the Book of Hosea is a play on words, especially with regard to individuals.) Because the judges misused their prerogative of judgment, retributive judgment would come upon them. In other words, because of their misjudgment, God would judge them.
Hosea addressed the ten tribes in the name of “Ephraim,” the most numerous tribe, but lest the other nine tribes think they were excluded from judgment, the prophet also used the term “Israel.” Then Hosea included Judah, for the two tribes would fall later. All were guilty, and the various judgments were just a matter of time. Hosea had been emphasizing the evil of the ten tribes, but little by little, he started to include Judah in the condemnation. Verse 5 is prophetic.
“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea.” In the beginning of his ministry, Hosea was told to take “a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms.” Bible scholars have been puzzled by this verse, but it was preparing for a lesson on spiritual prostitution, the harlotry of worshipping idols.
The instruction was blunt and direct, whereas later chapters furnish a more rounded-out picture. Did God tell Hosea to deliberately go out and marry a known harlot and worshipper of idols? Why would the Lord give such an instruction, especially since it contradicted the moral precepts of Scripture? Actually, the Lord was prophesying what would happen with regard to the woman Hosea was going to marry. It was as if God were saying, “Go out and take unto thee a wife. In due time, she will prove to be a harlot and will bear children by other men.” God wanted to illustrate, through Hosea, His relationship to Israel and how the nation went into unfaithfulness. In other words, the union forcibly demonstrated to the public Israel’s unfaithfulness to God.
Europe will fall to Islam unless its inhabitants embrace Catholicism, said the outgoing archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk. “Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims—which is actually happening gradually,” he said in an interview, published January 6.
“Unless the Christians ‘wake up,’ life may be Islamized and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society,” he said.
Rabbah’s being burned with fire and becoming a desolate heap had a past fulfillment, but in regard to the future fulfillment of Psalm 83, these terms indicate that Israel’s strike on its Arab neighbors will be decisive. Is there a suggestion here that nuclear power might be used?
In the antitype, Edom pictures Christendom. Just as Esau sold his birthright, the Abrahamic promise, so Catholicism was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord but lost the stewardship because of improper use. True spiritual Israelites inherit the stewardship. Esau (Christendom) will be stripped. In the type, the people tried to hide in rocks and caves, but they were searched out. “He is not” means extinction. Accordingly, the beast and the false prophet will go into Second Death (permanent extinction).
John did not go into the fine details that Paul did but just enunciated right and wrong principles. Before quoting from John’s epistles, we should read all three to make sure we get the right thought.
We think all this information has been providentially hidden because of the multiplicity of detail, the confusion of the characters with duplicate names, and the repetition with Ramothgilead.