They Reap the Whirlwind - Lesson 1|
Lesson 1: Background and History
A. Some of the very best lessons for us today are found in the history of yesterday.
1. The experiences, emotions, and thoughts of men are common from age to age. Therefore, we do well to learn from those who have preceded us regarding both good and evil.
2. The God of the Bible is the same God that we serve today. James wrote, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow” (Jas. 1:17). He does not change, and therefore His disposition toward mankind today is the same as in the past.
B. Regarding the nation of
1. “These things” in this verse specifically refer to the history of
2. It is wise to consider the examples of
C. The history of
1. The prophecy of Hosea spanned this period of time as the Northern Kingdom of Israel sank into oblivion.
2. Hosea’s ministry was a declaration of love, disappointment, and wrath on the part of God, and idolatry, ignorance, and treachery on the part of
3. This series is not intended to be an exhaustive verse-by-verse study, but rather its purpose is to glean lessons from Hosea that we can apply today.
II. THE TIME OF HOSEA’S PROPHECY
“Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. It shall come about that just as all the good words which the LORD your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you. When you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you.”
B. In his time, Hosea lived to see the fulfillment of Joshua’s terrifying and prophetic words.
1. Just as Joshua had said, every threat of God against the nation of
2. Much like Jeremiah would be later in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Hosea represented a final effort by God to reason with His people and turn them back from their wickedness.
C. Hosea’s prophecy began sometime during the latter days of the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (793-753 B.C.) and continued throughout the remaining days of the
1. Most estimates have Hosea’s prophecy beginning around 755 B.C.
2. Most indications are that Hosea’s ministry ended shortly before the exile of
3. During Hosea’s ministry, seven different kings sat on the throne in the
a. Jeroboam II (795-753 B.C.)
b. Zechariah (753-752 B.C.)
c. Shallum (752 B.C.)
d. Menahem (752-742 B.C.)
e. Pekahiah (742-740 B.C.)
f. Pekah (752-732 B.C.)
g. Hoshea (732-722 B.C.)
D. When Hosea’s work began,
1. Jeroboam II had “restored the border of
2. This was accomplished by God through Jeroboam II as God “saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash” (2Ki. 14:27).
E. As was often the case, God’s people did not deal well with prosperity.
1. Despite their many blessings,
2. Moses warned them of this tendency during times of prosperity and the consequences in Deuteronomy 8:10-20.
3. As if following the words of God through Moses like a script,
4. God likewise followed the script, fulfilling the words of Moses by causing
F. The sad ending of the
1. The nation of
b. The custom of the Assyrians was to exile a captured people out of their native land and into the land of foreigners. In this way, they could divide a nation and make it impossible for them to reunite and rebel against their captors. Thus, the ten northern tribes were deported and assimilated into other peoples.
2. While it was Assyria that conquered
3. Unlike the Southern Kingdom of Judah later on, which returned from its captivity in
III. A WARNING FOR US
A. It is imperative for us to heed the lessons of history and the warnings of Hosea.
1. The parallel situations between the
2. Not only did Israel suffer destruction as a result of their sin, but other great nations have followed the same course and repeated the same pattern with the same final consequences (consider Rome).
3. If the
B. This is not a time for panic, but rather it is a call for resolve among God’s people.
1. This is not a cry of “the sky is falling!” The issues we will consider are real and practical, and they have a solution that must be implemented if this nation is to continue for the long term.
2. All Christians must realize that our first priority is the
a. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), and the church is the nation of Christ (1Pet. 2:9-10). The
b. We must resolve not to allow the decline of morality and increase of ungodliness in the nation around us to seep into the Lord’s church and ourselves individually.
3. God’s people in this nation can affect a change.
a. We have the attention of God in prayer, which we should use to bless our nation and its leaders (1Tim. 2:1-4).
b. Christians are the salt of the earth, which may be the preserving agent in this nation (Matt. 5:13). We also can walk as lights in the world, bringing glory to our Father in heaven and helping others to do the same (Matt. 5:14-16; Eph. 4:7-12).
C. “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the righteous will walk in them. But transgressors will stumble in them.” (Hos. 14:9)
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