1. How did God see Israel when He called them out of Egypt?
As a son: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1).
- When Israel was a child is about early times in their history when they came up out of Egypt (Hosea 2:15).
- This doesn’t mean they were faithful in their youth or that God forgot their sins (Jeremiah 22:21, Jeremiah 32:30, and Ezekiel 23:1-8; 23:19).
- This is just our Lord remembering the times wherein their was more good than there is now at this time among Israel (i.e. Jeremiah 2:2).
- The Lord Loves those whom are righteous (Psalms 11:7, Psalms 33:5, and Proverbs 15:9). If those people err, His loves extends to helping them out of that sinful state (Proverbs 3:12).
- Looking back, God recalls his calling Israel out of Egypt as His son (Exodus 4:22 and Jeremiah 31:9).
2. Did Israel recognize that it was God that had healed them?
No: “(2) As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. (3) I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them” (Hosea 11:2-3).
- The ASV 1901 starts this text as: “The more the prophets called them…”. That makes sense here in light of other Scriptures (Nehemiah 9:30, Jeremiah 44:16-17, Zechariah 1:4, and Zechariah 7:7-11).
- They sacrificed unto Baalim and burned incense to graven images (I Kings 18:17-46, II Chronicles 28:1-2, Jeremiah 8:19, and Jeremiah 9:13-14).
- Though they were taught, they knew not that it was the Lord that healed them (Isaiah 1:1-3 and Isaiah 46:1-13).
3. As God tried to lead His people, how receptive were they?
They refused, followed their own counsels, and were bent on backsliding: “(4) I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. (5) He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return. (6) And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. (7) And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him” (Hosea 11:4-7).
- God drug them with the line of a man (Exodus 32:33-34).
- He drew them with the rope of love (Isaiah 63:9).
- God did take away their yoke of bondage (Leviticus 26:13).
- For them though, their relationship unfortunately stopped there. Of old, God was only unto them of importance as long as He was doing something for them (Psalms 78:12-33).
- They certainly wanted to return to Egypt (Exodus 14:11-12, Numbers 11:4-5, and Acts 7:39).
- However, God wasn’t going to have that (Isaiah 31:1 and Jeremiah 42:19).
- What they were going to see was the Assyrian as their king because they refused to return to God (II Kings 17:1-23).
- The waste land, the sword, etc. (Amos 9:1-15).
- Because of their own counsels (Judges 21:25, Proverbs 14:12, Hosea 10:6, and Romans 10:1-3).
- When you consider their being bent on backsliding, think about the contextual points of why including their seeking idolatry (Ezekiel 20:16).
4. What kept the Lord from acting in His fierce anger?
What was in His heart concerning them: “(8) How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. (9) I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city” (Hosea 11:8-9).
- Think about how they caused God to be torn (Isaiah 65:1-25, Jeremiah 9:7, Jeremiah 29:1-13, Jeremiah 31:20, and Hosea 6:4).
- God was tired of changing His mind about them (Jeremiah 15:6).
- He just wasn’t going to be done. We see this even in Christ (Matthew 10:6).
- Admah and Zeboim (Deuteronomy 29:23).
5. Was the Lord going to roar like a lion in an act of destruction or of restoration?
Restoration: “(10) They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. (11) They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD” (Hosea 11:10-11).
- Walk after the Lord (Deuteronomy 13:4 and II Kings 23:1-3).
- They would tremble (Joel 2:1) at the roar of the Lord (Isaiah 42:13).
- The problem is, they oft did not tremble (Jeremiah 5:22).
- Then be restored to their houses which is indicative of restoration (Ezekiel 28:25).
6. At the time Hosea is recording these things, was Judah like Israel?
No: “Ephraim compasseth me [The Lord; vs. 11] about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints” (Hosea 11:12).
- “The Lord” is speaking (vs.11).
- The tribes of Israel, including Ephraim, are liars (Psalms 78:36, Isaiah 29:13, Jeremiah 5:26-27, Ezekiel 33:30-33, and Hosea 12:1).
- Judah (Isaiah 37:31-32).
© 2020 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.