The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 102 of 185
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pp. 192 - 196
Hosea, the man with a curious call! His ministry covered the last seventy years or so
immediately before the fall of Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel,
frequently spoken of in his prophecies as "Ephraim". Both from the historical books, and
from the book of Hosea we learn of the terrible apostasy of the northern kingdom, so
terrible in fact that there was no longer room for hope. Judah, the southern kingdom had
also apostacized, but had not yet gone "beyond redemption point" and still there was
hope for Judah.
"But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them . . . . ." (Hosea 1: 7).
"Ephraim compasseth Me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit: but
Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints" (11: 12).
Nonetheless a harvest of judgment is appointed also for Judah.
"Also, O Judah, He hath set an harvest for thee" (6: 11).
In the names of the prophet and his father, and in the names of his children and his
symbolic acts is a summary of all Hosea had to say to Israel. For the moment we note but
his name and that of his father. Hosea the son of Beeri:
Jah is help; salvation.
What a significant thought is brought to our minds from these two names! The help of
Jehovah, salvation is the `offspring' of exposition. If only our `Christian' leaders would
learn that lesson!
Unlike some of those men God called, with Hosea we know without doubt when he
was first called.
"The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go,
take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms" (Hosea 1: 2).
From verse 3 it seems clear that the children of whoredoms means something other
than appears on the face of it, and all the children mentioned are those born to Hosea.
This fact also helps us toward an understanding of what `a wife of whoredoms' really
means. For, although the prophets were often called upon to perform rather strange acts,
it is highly improbable that God should ask one of his servants to take a wife who was
actually an adulteress. Frequently in the O.T., and once at least in the New, adultery,
whoredoms, etc., are used of departure from the worship of Jehovah, of idolatry. "Take
unto thee a wife of idolatry"? Perhaps if anything this sounds even more unlikely than
that the prophet should marry an adulteress, for nothing is more abominable in the sight
of God than idolatry, or anything which denies His Deity: in this He is a Jealous God.
Hence the seriousness of those who deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, for to deny