1. As this chapter begins, what is the prophet’s plea?
For them to return to the Lord: “(1) O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. (2) Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips” (Hosea 14:1-2).
- Returning to God is language that includes repentance (Joel 2:14).
- Returning to God means turning away from sin (Jeremiah 18:8, Jeremiah 26:3, Ezekiel 14:6, Ezekiel 18:30, and Acts 26:18-20).
- The language of fallen is a tell of apostasy (Luke 8:13 and Revelation 2:5).
- When we read of words in relation to turn to the Lord, we are reading about confession of sin (Proverbs 28:13, Jeremiah 3:12-13, Daniel 9:20, and I John 1:8-10).
- God could cleanse them (Ezekiel 36:25-26 and Micah 7:19).
- The rendering the calves of their lips (Psalms 69:30-31 and Hebrews 13:15-16).
2. What did they need to stop looking to for their help in times of need?
Assyria, their idols, and horses: “Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy” (Hosea 14:3).
- Asshur [אַשּׁוּר] is Assyria: “Ashshur, the second son of Shem; also his descendants and the country occupied by them (i.e. Assyria), its region and its empire…” (Strong’s # 804). That term is translated “Assyria” 118 times in the O.T. and “Assyrian” 19 times. I.E., as it applies to the point of this passage and the same Hebrew word, see: Hosea 5:13, Hosea 7:11, Hosea 8:9, and Hosea 12:1
- They liked to turn to everyone and everything they could to avoid returning to God (I Kings 18:16-46, Isaiah 8:17-20, Isaiah 30:1-7, Isaiah 42:17, and Habakkuk 2:18-20).
- Help from God was conditional (Deuteronomy 30:15-20).
- In God is where they should have looked for mercy (Psalms 66:20 and Psalms 136:1-26).
- For that mercy though, as this context starts out addressing, they have to turn to God (Isaiah 55:6-9).
3. Was God’s love permanently turned away from them?
No: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him” (Hosea 14:4).
- God had long ago from this point, set His love on them (Deuteronomy 7:1-8).
- He did not retain His anger forever (Psalms 103:9, Lamentations 3:31-32, and Micah 7:18).
- Why could they count on God not to remain angry forever? He made a promise that He was going to keep (II Kings 13:23 and Psalms 105:8). It is important to realize that His covenant has been fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18, Acts 3:18, and Acts 13:32-33) and that promise is no longer something they or anyone else could lean upon for mercy (Acts 17:30).
- However, that does not mean He would unconditionally acquit them (Nahum 1:3).
4. What results would arise from God being likened unto dew unto Israel?
“(5) I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. (6) His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. (7) They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon” (Hosea 14:5-7).
- Psalms 1:1-6, Psalms 92:13-15, Isaiah 44:1-5, and Micah 5:7
5. What was Ephraim going to say if they chose to return to the Lord?
“Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found” (Hosea 14:8).
- Proverbs 5:10-13, Jeremiah 31:18-20, and Romans 6:21
- Fruit comes from… Not their idols. Not the other nations. From the Lord (John 15:1-8).
6. What would a wise person have done with the words of Hosea?
Understand, know, and walk in the ways of the Lord: “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein” (Hosea 14:9).
- This statement, in context, is very much like the end of a Psalm (Psalms 107:1-43).
- A wise - prudent person hears, understands, learns (Proverbs 1:5-6, Proverbs 9:9, Proverbs 14:8, Proverbs 17:24, and Proverbs 19:8).
- Action then shows such wisdom (Psalms 111:10).
- The just walking in the right ways of the Lord (Deuteronomy 5:33, Psalms 19:1-8, Psalms 128:1, Proverbs 14:2, and I John 2:1-6).
- Unfortunately, they aren’t going to be lastingly receptive (Jeremiah 6:16).
- Transgressors (Proverbs 28:18).
© 2020 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.