Isa. 2:4, beat their swords, pg.8
*** Hosea 10:1-5. Typed What is really the problem? goes in here.
V. 5. Hosea prophesied to Samaria, the northern kingdom, before it fell. He was the last warning to God's people to repent and return back to him before God judged them.
Samaria was noted for its worship of other gods. To Jacob this was Bethel, (house of God), but it had been reduced to Bethaven, the house of vanity. God's people here worshipped one of the calves (see my notes on Hosea 8:5). Not idol worship in the sense of a denial of God, but idol worship in the sense of the divided heart, trying to serve both God and mannon, trying to hold on to the love for both God and the things of this world.
Now, during the time of Hosea, God's people dwelt here. Their heart was divided as they sought to serve both God as well as the desires of the flesh, the world.
They here express fear for their idols. That thing which they are looking to along with God. They are afraid they are going to lose it. They are anxious and troubled over their calves which they serve with their divided heart along with God.
Follow the though here. --for the people thereof shall mourn--
The prophet is preaching his heart out for God's people to repent of their double-mindedness, divided heart. Notice though what God's people are going to mourn over, THE LOSS OF THEIR CALF, not the loss of their relationship with their God. They mourn because the glory of the calf is removed, not because the glory of God is departed.
God help us. How blind can his people be. Total, utter blindness.
I have not seen the last couple of days but the principle is very evident. Monday, 7/7/86, the stock market dropped 6.3 points. I heard a lot of concerned talk about this. Now, look--
Tremendous concern over a loss in the stock market, yet very little concern over the loss of the glory of God in this nation.
The loss of the centered teaching in the classroom. The loss of Bible centered laws controlling this nation. The loss of Bible freedom of pastors to obey the word of God as God leads them. The loss of Bible reflecting judgments from our court system. The loss of Bible morality in our civil leaders (and pastors).
The list goes on and on, yet the principle is here. A "Christian" nation goes into mourning over a 6.3 drop in the stock market (a very dubious thing with scriptural principles as it is operated by many today anyway. More gambling than investing). Yet very little if any morning over the societies relationship with the Lord God.
10:5. Priest rejoiced on it. The spiritual leaders were hung upon covetousness. Again, the prevailing sin today. Pastors get up in their pulpit and loudly preach, stomp and cry out against covetousness, yet they are afraid to break with the the protection of the STATE for fear they will lose the church property.
Here with Hosea, the people were not forced to go after these calves but went willingly of their own free-will and the priests enjoyed it as much as did the people.
What is in this verse which fits our generation? God's people mourn more over the loss of material possessions than they do over the loss of the glory of God. They will work harder to keep their material belongings than they will to keep their fellowship with God.
Even the pastors are more concerned about keeping material prosperity, fancy church buildings, than they are over keeping a right basic relationship with the Lord of the universe.
Example to close to avoid. 7/11/86, we went over to hear 'Legacy' last night. I met a lady who wanted to send the book, "The Non-church," to a publisher.
She said she talked to her former pastor about this issue of incorporation of God's work. The pastor told her he was afraid of the loss which the "church" might be subject to.
The loss of the property, buildings, the loss to litigation in case of an accident and so on.
At the same time, she said, he gets up in the pulpit and preaches loud and hard against covetousness (which is idolatry, Col. 3:5, among his people. Talk about a double stand. He is as much of an idolater as any person in the pew because he is afraid to obey a Bible principle because of the cost which might be involved.
God, here in Hosea 10:5, calls them, "The people of the calves." This is what a large portion of His people are called today.
If covetousness causes them to be more concerned over the loss of anything material than they are over the loss of fellowship with our Lord, they are "the people of the calves."
Without the grace of God working His people's heart they will be more concerned about their own things than they are of HIS.
There is hope even when we live among a people who claim to be God's, yet mourn over the loss of material goods than they do over lost fellowship and glory of God. This hope is found in the mercy and grace of our God. I have read the last chapter of even this book from 13:9-14:9. GLORY TO OUR GOD for the victory in Christ. Our hope is always, not in the calves, but in our God moving by His grace in the hearts of His people.
Notice in each of these books of prophecies, there is ALWAYS a high point which shows the grace of God no matter how dark the situation. We will get to them some day I hope.
Just one simple question here. Which do we mourn more over? The loss of a day's work or the loss of a day's fellowship with our God? Which are we more dedicated to? Do we express the same concern over Godly things, activities as we do over the worlds?
Both Israel, God's people and the calf will be carried away captive. Ephrem will reap what he sowed. Israel will see the fallacy of the council of Jereboam to serve the calves. Israel went captive because of the success of Jereboam's wicked council.
*** V. 7 goes here, mail-out, "God's protection"
V. 8. Aven= vanity, iniquity. This was Bethel, house of God. It was 'degraded' to Bethaven, house of vanity and now it is just Aven, vanity.
A couple of things here. As Brother Hyles has said, "Everything has deathborn in it." Even Bethel, the house of God did. Now it is plain old vanity, emptiness.
Second, this was the very prosperous 'church' which Jeroboam started (to see my notes on I Ki. 12, 'Heresy'), which God is speaking against.
The place where the false religious worship had taken place very successfully now will have thorns and thistles growing in it.
"They shall say-- Here we have a type of the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans as their iniquity was full and the Lord avenged the blood of Christ upon them, Matt. 27:25.
Really, there are three very troublesome times spoken of here. First, the destruction of Samaria. Second, the destruction of Jerusalem then the end-time destruction, Lk. 23:30; Rev. 6:16; 9:6.
V. 9. Referring to Judges 20. The battle in Gibeah did not destroy Benjamin completely, leaving six hundred men. This judgment which Hosea is calling for is going to 'overtake them' completely. The ten tribes as well as Ephraim will be utterly blotted out.
V. 10. Deut. 28:63. This is a hard saying. The same as the Lord rejoices over His people for good as they obey Him, here he rejoices over them to chastise them.
He gathered all Israel against Benjamin when he did wicked in order to chastise him for his sin, now he is going to gather many heathen people against His people to chastise them for their refusal to glorify Him as God.
--shall bind themselves-- like a yoke of oxen they are plowing furrow after furrow of wickedness and sin. Until the hemlock springs up.
Notice, two furrows at a time. The heathen only plows one farrow at a time as they serve the gods of this world. That one furrow would serving their strange gods.
Rom. 1:21 could be divided into two sins. The heathens only "plow" the one sin of "refusing to glorify God as God. But God's people commit two sins. 1.) When they knew God. 2.) They glorified him not as God.
His people know Him so they must, by a choice of their will, choose to lay aside his laws, principles and precepts of life. Then serve their other God's, Jer. 2:13. Here God's people first forsake Him, ignore His law-word as binding on them, then they hewed them out cisterns. Lived their lives according to what seemed best to them.
This cannot be said of any other people. The heathens don't know Him, therefore, their quilt is only in the one area of living their lives as pleases themselves. They serve the gods of this world because they don't know better.
God's people know better yet do it anyway and heap up to themselves the 'plowed furrows' of judgment.
God said in Deut. 28 that he will 'rejoice over them' in judgment.
Example: I know a family. They know what to do yet they will not. They have lost one daughter to their pride and are going to lose another who wants to serve God. Yet their pride, stubbornness prevents them from consistently doing right. God will 'rejoice over them' in chastisement. They are caught in two transgressions. 1.) Know what to do, know God and reject this. 2.) Serve their gods of pride and stubbornness.
I can honestly say that 90: of my people know what they should do yet refuse. It looks to me like, from what Hosea is saying here, this is bringing judgment, chastisement, upon them twice as fast as upon the heathen.
God's people built two calves under Jeroboam. Double sin. Not only do His people worship their false gods of this world but they must turn from the Lord God to do so.
When they ask for Barabbas, they had to reject Christ. How in the world do we think we can get away with it?
Verses 11-13 seems to go together. This looks like a reference back to v. 1.
God taught Ephraim (His people) how to prosper. The 'treading out of the corn' was a easy and luxurious job as the ox could not muzzled (Deut. 25:4). God replaces the heavy yoke of sin which we serve with his light yoke of freedom (Matt. 11:29), and teaches us through His word how to prosper as we labor for Him.
We are allowed to eat of the corn, unmuzzled, as we labor for him. We are allowed to retain enough 'goods' for our own needs as was Israel. But look what happened. Deut. 32:15, God's people 'overate.' They started retaining more than they needed to meet their basic needs. They went back to the world of covetousness and got fat. The abundance of food caused them to kick against their master. Ezek. 16:49, we see where "fullness of bread" leads to. It leads to rebellion against the master. We see this today, when times were hard, God's people had plenty of time for Him. Times got better and now no one has time for Him. Everyone is in hot pursuit of pleasure.
Chp. 10 here shows us that as God prospers His people they use that prosperity to serve their own desires more often than not.
Prov. 30:8, 9, the writer of Proverbs recognized this problem and asked the Lord to only give him enough to survive on. Too much would cause him to forget the Lord. Too little would cause him to curse the Lord.
Looks like we need to pray that some of our people wouldn't have so much because they don't have time to serve God. They are to busy serving pleasure, Lk. 21:34.
Ephraim loved to tread out the corn because he could eat all he wanted. He ate too much, got fat and revelled against his owner.
The owner tried to gently and tenderly put on the yoke and redirect him but he refused,
I will make, see Ps. 66:12. Here it seems that because he would not submit willingly to the yoke of God, God is going to send some men to make him submit.
neck, see Jer. 19:15. God's people hardened their "fair neck" against His word, and refuse to freely submit to him so he sends a heathen people against them and they will have no choice.
His people will serve someone. Either Him, out of willingness, or a heathen nation. They will not serve their own covetousness for long.
Judah, Jacob, God desired here for all of His people to work together to further His kingdom. To put away idolatry and serve Him, and someday they will unite.
V. 12. sow--reap in mercy. Here we see the law of sowing and reaping which is given over many times, Lk. 6:38; II Cor. 9:6; Gal. 6:7-9.
Notice here when God's people sow to themselves in righteousness, obedience to God's word, putting away of sin and serving Him with a pure heart, they reap in mercy.
Not reaping in proportion to what we have sown (which could not be much because we do not have that capacity), but in proportion to God's mercy.
The boundless mercy of God. Glory! If I will do the best I can, the best which God shows and enables me to do in being faithful in His service and to His law, I will reap according to His mercy.
If anyone needs His mercy, we do. Here in the midst of a very depressing book, calling for judgment upon His stiff-necked people are eight words of mercy. We need to look at this a little.
Jeremiah did the same thing in his book of Lamentations. Right in the middle of a depressing call for judgment on God's people for turning from Him is the reminder of mercy. To those who remain faithful and true to Him.
God never leaves us in a hopeless situation but always reminds us of our hope in Him (see my notes on Hosea 10:7. In Lam. 3:21 (64 verses before this message of hope, mercy and 60 verses after), we have the reminder of our Lord's mercy.
Thank God, His word is a message of hope. not defeat, for His people. Those who have trusted Him have hope in His mercy. Let's not let the enemy rob us of this hope.
10:12, "break up---" the ground is already plowed and sown now he advises again "break up." Here is the stirring up of His people to remove the poisonous weeds, tares, thistles and thorns from their lives and hearts.
For its time to seek--- Here is Solomon's message in Ps. 72:6. V. 6 is speaking of the coming of Christ. Isa. 45:8 also fits this.
The Lord our righteousness came down from heaven as would rain upon a dried parched earth. Even a desert.
This passage could also read, "till he come and teach you righteousness."
Two areas of righteousness here: 1.) In the area of salvation. 2.) Also in the area of our righteous acts, works. Which the Holy Spirit is left to reprove the world of, Jn. 16:10. This is the conviction of sin which is the result of the Holy Spirit living in us which the O.T. saints did not have.
In Jn. 3:2, Nicodemus recognized Him "as a teacher sent from God." In Jn. 4:25, the Samaritans saw Him as this teacher sent from God also. Both of these knew the prophesies and the woman knew the Christ would come from heaven and teach them the ways of righteousness.
Isa. 2:1-4. Here the Prophet is once again talking of the coming rain from heaven. The teacher who will reveal God's ways to man. To place 1-4 anywhere except the age in which we are now alive must remove both Acts 2:17 (the last days), as well as Heb. 12:22, 23, from Scripture. Which clearly tells us that Mt. Sion (the mountain of God), the city of the living God which is the heavenly Jerusalem, is here and now.
The mountain of the Lord's house is established right now in the church, the assembly of the believer. Compare vv. 2 and 3 with Lk. 24:47. "Come on, let's go to the assembly of the first born, let's go to church." Those who do everything within their power to try to get others to go to church with them so they can learn of 'His ways" would deny like crazy they are fulfilling this verse. But, when did the last days start? They started with Christ, Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:2; I Pet. 1:20; I Jn. 2:18. Out of this assembly goes his law and the word of the Lord.
Notice v. 4, also judgment goes out from him. See Jn. 5:22. His word will rebuke nations and the result will be world peace. How will He bring this about? I don't know,that is His job not mine. Our job is first, bring people to church so they can learn his ways and his word.
Notice also v. 5, walk in his light. Here is Acts 26:23. He is the light of the world and since he came there is light to walk in. This is a MAJOR doctrine of the N.T. which is for today. Look up and read Rom. 2:19; 23:2; II Cor. 4:6; Col. 1:12; I Thess. 5:5; 6:16; I Pet. 2:9; I Jn. 1:5, 7; 2:8-10.
Notice Eph. 5:8, especially, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
There is no way around it unless you remove a lot of context and are only looking for something to confirm a pre-conceived nation, Isa. 2:5 is being fulfilled right now. Our command is to "walk as children of light."
Our command right now is "Let us walk in the light of the Lord."
The argument may be "But this is to the House of Jacob." Okay, I'll buy that. Anyone who will read Rom. 9:6, will find that this "house of Jacob" of the last days is by faith as God's people have always been. This is also emphasized in the book of Galatians, that, since Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male nor female.
There is only one people of God from the time of Christ to the end of time, and that is those who are in Christ. Gal. 3 especially vv. 28-29.
This could not be presented any clearer than what it is here. From the time Christ came to the day time is commanded to stop, there are and will be only two classes of people. Not Jew and Gentile, but saved and unsaved. Every prophecy having to do with the 'last days' must be viewed in the light of Gal. 3:28, 29.
Any time God's people are referred to as living in the 'last days,' and no matter what name they are referred to by (Israel, Jacob, Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise), God is speaking of those who are in Christ.
Gal. 3:28, 29 is so clear on this that a person must be willfully blind to it as were the Pharisees. They rejected everything, Christ's teachings included, which went contrary to the "teaching of the elders."
Isa. 2:1-5 is looking far into the future, clear into the "last days" (See above for Scripture references to 'last days' being the age we now live in).
Look at the plea of Isaiah in v. 5. The plea to "walk in the light, as he is in the light, I Jn. 1:7; Rom. 13:12. If those who profess to be his would do this, what would happen to the world as we know it? The world is perishing with wars and fighting because God's people won't put away the works of the flesh (darkness) and be the light which cannot be hid and that draws others to it, see James 4:1-5; Matt. 5:14-16.
God's people want to be friends with the world and with Him and lose their light bearing and sharing capacities, see Jn. 3:21 compare with II Chron. 7:14. Their light goes dim and will not reprove the works of darkness.
Just a thought. What if every professing Christian would write or phone their congressman every time that congressman approved any work of 'darkness'? Even the one worlder, Richard Lugar would get his act together and support the works of light.
This brings us back to Isa. 2:4, beat their swords, etc. Why isn't this being fulfilled today. I think if we will take it in the context of the commands of the New Testament, it is because those who claim Christ still want to serve the world. In fact, we preach and teach Ii Chron. 7:14 and it clearly says that if God's people will "walk in the light, as he is in the light," there will be peace, even peace enough to spend our time, effort and national production in producing peaceful instruments. When will this take place, only He knows but it will.
Observe, the more that covetousness controls, God's people the more precarious our security becomes.
One more thing here in Isaiah 2:3, 'teach--'. Here is Eph. 4:11, 12. He calls men to teach His people in the assembly. Teach them his law, word and ways.
We need 'teachers' who will teach the whole counsel of God in its context and people who will "live by faith," obeying his law-word by faith. In fact, just doing what they know to do.
Isaiah points out what the Lord is going to do in the 'last days' by His grace which came by Jesus Christ and now he goes on to call God's people, the O>T. Israel, house of Jacob, back from their wickedness.
All of that to point out that Hosea 10:12b is foretelling of this coming event spoken of by Isaiah in 2:1-5.
V. 13. Hosea does just as Isaiah does. He gives a short glimpse of the glories of grace in the assembly of the first born, then he gets right back to the problem at hand.
He is coming to reign (teach) righteousness but in the meantime, look at what you are doing. In doing this, all who knew the scriptures should have been looking forward to the church with great anticipation.
God told plant righteousness but they planted and cultivated wickedness and they reaped an abundant harvest.
--lies-- going back to v. 4. Might point out how easy it is for even God's people to believe a lie and the father of lies has plenty for us to believe. Custom designed lies which fit in so well.
Here God's people trusted in the worship of their calves, and the strength of Egypt and Assyria for their protection. They trusted in the ways which seemed right but the results came to pass.
As long as man trusts in his ways and what he can do then only destruction awaits him. When he decides or realizes this his ways cannot be trusted then God can move to help him. Even God's people have many calves which they trust more then they trust God.
V. 14. Notice here, God's people whom this prophecy is against, made all the preparation possible to avoid the judgment.
They served their false gods with zeal (Ezek. 44 a good example).
Today they do the same. They look to the gods of education, (reason these problems are upon us is because we don't have a good education), gods of science, (given enough money we can figure out a way to avoid the results of sin, A.I.D.S, etc), and many other of these false gods.
These people also made some ungodly alliances. They sought many ways to gain a multitude of might men for protection. But all the might in the world, all the false gods there are (and the Hindus have thousands), will not protect if God isn't on our side.
The people had forsaken God in their time of prosperity (10:1), now God forsakes them in their time of need.
It is an absolute lie of the devil which teaches in any way, shape or form that God's people are not obligated to God's law as given to Moses and can avoid the results of ignoring it.
Unless the Lord keeps the house the watchman waketh but in vain, see 10:7. Any effort made outside of obedience to God, glorifying Him as God, is nothing but air bubbles on top of the water.
V. 15. And it happened just as the prophet warned them of. The only way to avoid this type of an end is to return to His law-word over every area of life. What ever is sown will be reaped sooner or latter.