O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:4,6)
EPHRAIM WAS THE LARGEST AND STRONGEST of the ten northern tribes. God interchanged “Ephraim” with the name: “Israel.” Ephraim was God’s pet name for Israel, (the ten northern tribes that split off from the twelve). Samaria was its capital city. “By this time, all ten of these tribes were so consumed by idolatry that they were beyond hope of revival. As a result, God instructed Hosea and other prophets to quit trying. Their remaining burden was to call Judah to retain her faith in the true God Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend;….(Hosea 4:15) (Morris)
JUDAH IS THE NAME GIVEN TO the remaining two southern tribes (Judah & Benjamin). Judah contained Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple. Judah had begun practicing the same kind of idolatry as Israel but was not as far along with it. They would suffer the same fate as Israel at the hands of the Babylonians, about 150 years later.
SINCE 1973, AMERICA HAS SLAUGHTERED 60 MILLION of its most helpless people in the mothers’ wombs. (Hitler’s NAZI Germany killed 6 million Jews. The United States has murdered ten times that many.) How long does America have to repent?
WHEN THE TEN TRIBES BROKE OFF AFTER THE DEATH OF SOLOMON, Jeroboam set up two golden calves to signify God’s continued presence with them. They had no Temple; no sacrificial system and they did not have the God Israel. Hosea commented on these calves: Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency? For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. (Hosea 8:5-6)
“THE CALF OF SAMARIA" is a collective term that includes all the idols of Ephraim/Israel. Israel began and ended with the worship of a golden calf. “This reflected the much earlier time when the children of Israel, encamped at Mount Sinai to receive God’s law, made a golden calf and attributed deity and their deliverance to it (Exodus 32:4). The worship of the calf idol incurred God’s wrath at both the beginning and ending of Israel’s history in the land.” (Morris, p.1292)
IN VERSE 12 WE HAVE AN ASTOUNDING SUMMARY STATEMENT of the arrogant ignorance of these foolish people: I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. (Hosea 8:12) God called the words of His law: ”great things,” and these arrogant, ignorant people called God’s words: “a strange thing.”
MORRIS COMMENTS: “God judged Israel for rejecting the great things of His law. How great must be His anger at those modern “Christian” nations that not only count His law “strange” but also the whole Bible and God’s great work of creation and redemption!” (Morris)
HOSEA SAYS: For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Israell is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. (Hosea 8:7-8)
WE REAP MORE THAN WE SOW. That’s one of the fixed laws of sowing and reaping. “Sin will take you further than you meant to stray; it will keep you longer than you meant to stay; it will cost you more than you meant to pay.” Israel was literally swallowed up by the great Assyrian nation to the north that had not yet been conquered by Babylon.
THE SCATTERED AND UNSKILLED JEWS THAT WERE LEFT in that invasion found themselves facing strangers that were brought in by the Assyrians to intermarry with them. In Jesus’ day, John 4:4 says “He must needs go through Samaria.” That was contrary to Jewish custom. Jews rarely went through Samaria. They crossed the river and went around Samaria if they had to go north. The conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well tells the story. I hope you will read it….again.
GOD WRITES BIBLE HISTORY FOR OUR BENEFIT. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7) Ephraim/Israel and Judah are also written as an example to us today.
BARBARA AND I HAVE BEEN MOVING SLOWLY THROUGH HOSEA and studying the history. It so parallels the condition of the United States and the Western World of today that it is striking! Our nation has transformed itself into a culture of death. A thousand babies in the womb are murdered every day. The government does not force it on anyone, but since 1973, it has permitted it: the elimination of inconvenient human life.
EVERY BABY THAT IS MURDERED AT THE HANDS OF A DOCTOR, must first have the written permission of its mother. The mother must sign the paper. The baby is NOT part of the body of the mother. Every abortion stops a beating heart. God sees. The spirit of every murdered baby shows up in Heaven. Does God not notice? Have sixty million babies entered Heaven from America and God didn’t notice them? He who notices every Sparrow that falls, does He not see the flood of aborted babies from America?
WE DON'T HAVE THE EXACT SAME FORM OF IDOLATRY that Israel copied from the nations around them and provoked the wrath of God upon themselves. Let’s keep in mind that an idol is anything that comes between us and God; people approval, positions, possessions, political party, professors; you name it. Anything that enables us to take the place of God. Anything that provokes us to tell God what He can have. The worship of self and defiance of the Almighty functions in the same way as a golden calf.
GOD IS SLOW TO ANGER AND JUDGMENT. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7) If we make peace with God, it will be on His terms and NOT on our terms.
ISAIAH PREACHED TO JUDAH, THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM. Judah was following in the footsteps of her adulterous sister, Israel/Ephraim in the northern kingdom. Judah would be exiled into Babylon in 130-150 years. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
McGEE COMMENTS: God is saying to Judah, "Do not force Me to render sentence. Settle your case out of court." In Matthew 5:25 the Lord Jesus said, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him …"—don't wait until he takes you to court. God says that He has a secret formula, a divine alchemy, a potent prescription, a powerful potion, a heavenly elixir that will take out sin.
IT IS NOT A SECRET FORMULA LIKE THE NEWEST BOMB, but it is more potent. You will find it in Isaiah 53 as the One who was more marred, who suffered more, who died differently, who was wounded for our transgressions. Because He paid the penalty, the Judge is able now to extend mercy to us. The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, keeps on cleansing from all sin.
“THIS IS GOD'S CHARGE AGAINST HIS PEOPLE, and this is the basis on which they may turn to Him. If they will turn to Him, He will preserve the nation—He will give them almost one hundred years—then if they don't turn to Him and change their ways, He will send them into captivity. (McGee) (Almost one hundred years after Isaiah begins preaching to them.)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
OCTOBER 16, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Isaiah 59-61 P.M. 1 Thessalonians 4
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (fitting); (Romans 1:28)
Song for Today:
Tho’ Your Sins Be As Scarlet (3:19) (Ray Walker & Choir)
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