Hosea 11 - Outline of Hosea (Menu page)
B. The LORD's case against Israel expanded (6:4-11:11)
  1. Israel's Guilt and Punishment (6:4-8:14)
  2. Israel's Guilt and Punishment Reiterated (9:1-11:7)
    1. The Land of Fruitfulness: Barren (9:1-10)
    2. The Children of Fruitfulness: Bereaved (9:11-17)
    3. The Vine of Fruitfulness: Empty (10:1-11)
    4. The Call to Fruitfulness: Refused (10:12-15 - 11:1-7)
      • This section is continued from the previous chapter. In ch. 10, the emphasis was on the refusal of the final call to return and avoid judgment. The verses below provide a historic perspective of the LORD's call and the nation's refusal to heed.
1. When Israel [was] a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
2 [As] they called them, so they went from them:
they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
...I loved him...-
Historically, the LORD loved Israel as a son.
  • to preserve him, He took him to Egypt, where He had made provision. Gen 46:2-4
  • to establish him, He called him out of Egypt, into the land of promise. Ex 3:7,8
as they called them, so they went from them...-
God's love was met by ingratitude. The more Hosea and other true prophets called to Israel, the farther they moved away from Him, turning to false gods and idolatry.
...and called my son out of Egypt.-
Verse 1 is quoted in Mat 2:15 regarding Jesus, the Christ. As the true Son of God, the true Israel, He also would be preserved in Egypt, and return again to the land of Israel. But unlike the nation, His ear was open to hear and obey the voice of God.
     Whereas the nation failed to obey God's Law and refused to heed His prophets, Jesus was the beloved Son, who perfectly fulfilled the Father's will. Therefore, some teach that Jesus, as the true Israel, has displaced the nation in God's purposes.
     However, as set forth in Hosea, and nearly all of the prophets, God's purpose is to restore Israel. The perfect obedience of Christ is the means by which that purpose is realized. This is clearly seen in Isaiah 49:1-6, where Christ, the perfectly obedient servant is called "Israel." At His first coming, He poured Himself out "to bring Israel again" to the LORD, but they did not respond.
     Even so, the LORD says that this servant would "be my salvation unto the end of the earth," both to restore Israel and also to bring Gentiles into His kingdom of light. The nation of Israel has been partially and temporarily blinded, but they will be restored when Christ returns (Romans 11:25,26, for more read Romans ch. 9 - 11).
     It is precisely because this Son did for us what we (Jew & Gentile) could not do for ourselves, that we, who were in rebellion against God, can become true sons of God. Those who trust in the Lamb of God, are brought out of bondage to sin, and into right relationship with the Father, who so loved the world of sinners that He gave His Son that we should not perish (Joh 1:11-13; 3:6-7,16; Rom 8:2-4,14-17).
3 I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms;
but they knew not that I healed them.
The LORD's love was met by the insensibility of His people. -
Although He tenderly raised Israel as His own children, they were unaware and unappreciative of His care.
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.
The LORD's love was met by the insubjection of His people.-
He drew them out of their place of bondage. He set them free. He fed and nourished them.
Yet, they had turned away from Him, to seek the help of those from which they had been delivered.
The result would be their return to bondage, like that of Egypt (spiritually), but in Assyria (physically).
2Kin 17:4; Hos 8:13; 9:3
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
{are intent on} backsliding {turning away} from me:
though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt [him].
...the sword... shall... devour them, because of their own counsels {devices, plans}...-
They would be cut off due to their own wisdom, which was to put confidence in idols, and in the strength of surrounding nations... while turning their backs on the One who loved, protected and provided for them. Hos 10:5,6
...though they called them to the most High... none at all would exalt him.-
They refused the prophets' call to return to the LORD, who, being the Most High God, cannot be made any higher by man. But no man would acknowledge Him for who He is, and submit to Him. Hos 11:2; 7:16
God's Word continues to call sinners to repentance and salvation, today.
But, as then, the question remains...
"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" (Isa 53:1-f)
B. The LORD's case against Israel expanded (6:4-11:11)
  1. Israel's Guilt and Punishment (6:4-8:14)
  2. Israel's Guilt and Punishment Reiterated (9:1-11:7)
  3. The LORD's Compassion Renewed (11:8-11)
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.
...how shall I deliver thee {ie., pour you out, or, hand you over to destruction}, Israel?-
The LORD's heart goes out to the children He loved and nurtured, whom he once drew to Himself, and to whom He was continually calling.
...how shall I give thee up {ie., to destruction}... how shall I make thee as Admah... as Zeboim? -
Admah and Zeboim were cities that were utterly destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 14:8; 19:24,25,29; Deu 29:23).
     Several times, in the verses just referenced, we read that the LORD 'overthrew' {HB=haphak, overturned} those cities. Here, the LORD says that because of His love for His people, He would not overthrow Israel, with such total destruction. Rather, His own heart would be "turned" {this is the same word, HB=haphak, overturned} within Him. So that out of the heat of His wrath against their sin, His compassion would be rekindled toward them. Here, we get a glimpse of the greatness of God's love, by which He Himself would ultimately bear away the penalty and curse of sin (Joh 3:16,17; 2Cor 5:18,19).
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger... -
He would not make a full end of the judgment which they deserved.
...for I am God and not man... the Holy One in the midst of thee...- Micah 7:18-20; Mal 3:6
God could not dwell among His people, if it were not for His Grace, by which He withholds judgment that is due, and bestows blessing that is undeserved.
His judgment would touch them, but would not make a second pass ("I will not return to destroy...").
He would cut some off, but He would not go house to house in the city, to make an end of them. Some would be spared. Isa 48:9; Jer 30:11; 31:1-3
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.
They shall walk after the LORD...-
Those who are spared by His grace, will follow Him in truth. This awaits fulfillment in the latter days. Hos 3:5
...when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble...-
The LORD's roar of judgment will elicit a willing response from His people (Hos 5:14,15). In that day, Israel will return like a bird, trembling and speedily, to their land, from the places to which they had been scattered (eg., the west... Egypt... Assyria). The ultimate fulfillment, of this promise, will follow the time of Jacob's Trouble. Isa 60:8-10; Eze 28:25; 36:33,34; 37:21,25; Amos 9:14,15
In summary of this section:
The LORD has a deep love for His people, Israel. His purpose, in judgment, was not to destroy them completely, but rather, to restore them eventually.
C. The LORD's case against Israel concluded (11:12-14:9)
1. A concluding indictment (11:12 - 13:16)
  1. Israel's self-confidence is self-deception: In Jacob's weakness, the LORD was strong (11:12 - 12:14)
12 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.
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