Summary: God sends punishment to Israel in order that she will be fully redeemed.
The Disipline of Love
God loved the children of Israel so much that He no longer could allow them to treat Him with such unholy, self-righteous, adulterous behavior. God desired His wayward children to return to Him. When they would not listen to the words of His heart, He spoke with actions of national crisis. Even then they chose to turn away from their loving, heartbroken Heavenly Father.
* Do you remember a time of disciplining a child and he or she did not understand that you did it out of love and for their protection? How did that make you feel?
Well, God’s heart breaks when we disobey and sometimes He chooses to discipline us out of love to keep us from harming others or ourselves. Sometimes our own actions of disobedience lead to harm.
The love God has for Israel does not preclude the need for punishment if she is to be truly redeemed.This punishment will be seen in the form of the Assyrian invasion, as foretold in the section now before us
I. SUMMARY OF GOD’S PUNISHMENT FOR ISRAEL (8:1-10:15)
First we will summarize chapters 8-10, then look at some key verses
A. WARNING OF APPROACHING JUDGMENT (8:1-14)
1. Judgment is coming because they transgressed the covenant - Hos 8:1-6
2. They have sown the wind, through their alliances with Assyria, and shall reap the whirlwind- Hos 8:7-10
3. The altars of their religion has made them sin, their punishment will be a "return to Egypt" (Egypt as a symbol of captivity) - Hos 8:11-13
4. Israel has forgotten his Maker, and even Judah places more trust in fortified cities; but judgment will come upon them both - Hos 8:14
B. ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY FORETOLD (9:1-17)
1. Because Israel has played the harlot - Hos 9:1-2
2. Ephraim (Israel) shall "return to Egypt"- Hos 9:3-9
a. Egypt used as a type for captivity, but then Assyria is mentioned by name
b. They will be unable to celebrate the feasts
c. They will be punished for their sins
3. The fleeting glory of Israel - Hos 9:10-17
a. Though considered the firstfruits, they soon gave themselves over to idolatry
b. Thus their glory will fly away, and they will be like one childless
c. For their wickedness, God will cast them away
C. ISRAEL’S SIN AND CAPTIVITY REITERATED (10:1-15)
1. Her guilt and coming captivity - Hos 10:1-8
2. Her sin and coming punishment - Hos 10:9-15 [With such ample warnings through prophets like Hosea, God let Israel know what was to befall her. Yet the prophet’s message did not end there. A message of hope concerning restoration was also proclaimed, which we will shall consider in our next lesson.
II. NOW LETS LOOK AT SOME KEY PASSAGES IN THIS SECTION
A. "I HAVE WRITTEN FOR HIM THE GREAT THINGS OF MY LAW, BUT THEY WERE CONSIDERED A STRANGE THING" Hosea 8:12
1. This is a sad commentary on the condition of Israel
a. God had done a wondrous thing by giving them His Word - cf. Ps 19:7-11
b. Yet they had become so perverted that God’s word seemed strange to them!
2. Is this not true today as well?
a. We have been richly blessed with the full revelation of God’s will through His Son Jesus Christ
b. Yet many people (even some in the church) are so unaware of what the Bible says are so caught up in the thinking of the world ...that the principles and truths of God’s word are "considered a strange thing"! -- Is God’s word considered a strange thing to you?
B. "SOW TO YOURSELVES IN RIGHTEOUSNESS,REAP IN MERCY; BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND: FOR IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD, TILL HE COME AND RAIN RIGHTEOUSNESS UPON YOU". Hosea 10:12
BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND: FOR IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD The Jews were accustomed to allow their fields to lie fallow every seventh year. Fallow ground means hard soil, unbroken by the plow. Fallow ground means soil growing up in thorns, briars and weeds. Fallow ground means, saddest of all, fruitless ground.
1) THINGS GOD BROKE UP IN ORDER TO BLESS MEN
a. We are told three times concerning the five loaves and two fishes, when Jesus fed the five thousand, that Jesus "blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes." Blessed and brake! Blessing means breaking. God never smiles on a
field as when it is plowed deep. God never rains righteousness upon a life in fullness until it is broken up, broken deep Break up your fallow ground!
b. The pitchers that Gideon used to free Israel from the Midianites were all broken. Whole pitchers would not let the light shine that was inside. If God wants the pitchers of our lives to be broken, then let’s offer them freely, to be broken and be blessed and bring forth fruit.